Pope Francis said that Christians and Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness from gay people for the way it has treated them.
He told reporters on board his plane returning from Armenia on Sunday that the Church had no right to judge the gay community, and should show them respect.
“I will repeat what the Catechism of the Church says, that homosexuals should not be discriminated against, that they should be respected, accompanied pastorally,” the Pope said.
In a free wheeling chat with reporters Pope said the Church should seek forgiveness from women for the way it has treated them. He added that Church should also apologise for turning a blind eye towards child labour.
“I think that the Church not only should apologise… to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologise for having blessed so many weapons.”
In 2013, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.
“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” he added.
Pope said : “there are traditions in some countries, some cultures, that have a different mentality about this question (gays)” and that there were “some (gay) demonstrations that are too offensive for some.”
But he suggested that those were not grounds for discrimination or marginalization of gays.
The Pope has been hailed by many for his positive attitude towards the homosexuals. But some conservatives criticise him for his comments which they say are ambiguous on sexual morality.
During his visit to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the Pope described the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman Turkish rule in World War I as “genocide”.