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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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Over 20,000 drivers taken action through CCTV monitoring

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KATHMANDU— The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) has effectively launched monitoring of vehicles plying on the road through close circuit (CC) camera in Kathmandu valley.

Traffic Police are keeping a close watch on drivers to check whether they are following the traffic rules or not.

A total of 20,024 drivers of various vehicles faced action based on such monitoring. The police begun this bid since 2073 BS and it has become effective so far, said SSP Basanta Panta of the Traffic Division.

Most of the cases were related to violation of the traffic lane and driving on ‘one way’ roads, he added.

The police are monitoring the traffic activities through 460 close circuit cameras installed at the Division Office, Ranipokhari.

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