Pope says he invited transsexual to Vatican, urges mercy towards gays

Pope Francis said Sunday he has made outreach gestures towards gays throughout his career within the Catholic clergy and even invited a transsexual for a private chat at the Vatican.

“In my life as priest, bishop and even pope I have accompanied people with homosexual tendencies and even practicing homosexuals,” he said in an airborne press conference on the way back from a trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan.

He said being gay is not a cause “for celebration” in Catholic eyes, but people with “this condition” must be walked with, brought closer to God, treated on a case-by-case basis and integrated into the Catholic Church.

“This is what Jesus would do today,” Francis said. “When a person that has this condition arrives before Jesus, Jesus would definitely not say, ‘go away because you are a homosexual,’” he added.

The pope said the transsexual, a Spaniard who was born a woman but is now registered as a man, wrote to him saying he had “suffered a lot” and would “find consolation” if Francis agreed to meet him and the woman he married after a sex change operation.

“I gave them an audience and they were happy,” the pontiff said.

Last update: Mon, 03/10/2016 - 00:19

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