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Church should ask forgiveness from gay people for past treatment, says Pope Francis

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Pope Francis has said Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness from gay people.

He made the comments while speaking to reporters aboard a plane taking him back to Rome from Armenia on Sunday.

He also said the Church should ask forgiveness for the way it had treated women, for turning a blind eye to child labour, and for “blessing so many weapons” in the past.

He told reporters on the plane: “There are traditions in some countries, some cultures,  that have a different mentality about this question [homosexuals]” and there are “some [gay] demonstrations that are too offensive for some”.

In the hour-long freewheeling conversation that has become a trademark of his international travels, Pope Francis was asked if he agreed with recent comments by a German Roman Catholic cardinal that the Church should apologise to gay people.

The Pope looked sad when the reporter asked if an apology was made more urgent by the killing of 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida this month.

Pope Francis recalled Church teachings, saying: “[Homosexuals] should not be discriminated against. They should be respected, accompanied pastorally.

The Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful but homosexual acts are, and that homosexuals should try to be chaste.

Pope Francis repeated a slightly modified version of the now-famous “Who am I to judge?” comment he made about homosexual people on the first foreign trip after his election in 2013.

“The question is: if a person who has that condition, who has good will, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?” he said.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope, by saying “has that condition”, did not imply a medical condition but “a person in that situation”. In Italian, the word “condition” can also mean “situation”.

“We Christians have to apologise for so many things, not just for this [treatment of gay people] — but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologise! Forgiveness! Lord, it is a word we forget so often!” he said.

Pope Francis has been hailed by many in the gay community for being the most merciful pope towards them in recent history, and conservative Catholics have criticised him for making comments they say are ambiguous about sexual morality.

Reuters

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2 injured as bomb goes off at Ward Chair’s house

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DAMAK — An unidentified group detonated a bomb at the house of Bhim Poudel, a Ward Chairperson of the Damak Municipality Ward Number 7, last night, injuring two people including a woman.

The injured were hit by shrapnel due to the explosion. The explosion has also caused minor damages to the house which is located some 500 metres to the east of the Area Police Office, Damak.

It was a powerful explosion and it is not known who carried it out, police said.

Those injured in the incident are Semu Rai and Tilochan Pokhrel who had come to visit their relatives at the house next to Poudel’s house.

Both them who have been wounded in the hands and legs are being treated at the Lifeline Hospital in Damak. Rai is a staff at the same hospital.

Police has started an investigation into the case. Meanwhile, the Nepal Communist Party led by Netra Bikram Chand (Biplav) has today issued a press release saying those playing main role in evicting the landless squatters in the disputed market area in Damak. It had specifically named Wrad Chair Poudel and Mayor Romnath Oli.

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