Pope tells parents of LGBT+ children God loves their kids

Pope Francis, Thursday, told a group of parents of LGBT+children “The Pope loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

The comments came in a meeting between the parents and Francis to discuss their concerns about the Church’s discriminatory stance on the LGBT+ community.

The parents are members of an Italian association, Tenda di Gionata (“Jonathan’s Tent”), which welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.

At the brief meeting, the 40-strong group presented Francis with letters from parents explaining their children’s challenging journey to find self-acceptance under the Church’s anti-LGBT+ teachings.

An extract from one letter says:

“‘My son was wrong,’ he could continue to be loved only if he suffocated his being himself and lived his cross in the silence of the whole family. It was kindly imposed. I could not accept it.”

Tenda di Gionata’s vice president Mara Grassi and her husband presented the pontiff with a booklet called Lucky Parents, a collection of stories from the LGBT+ community and Catholic Church, which was translated into Spanish.

“Taking a cue from the title of the book we presented to him, I explained that we consider ourselves lucky because we have been forced to change the way we have always looked at our children.”

“What we now have is a new gaze that has allowed us to see in them the beauty and love of God. We want to create a bridge with the Church,” Grassi says.

Then at the end of the meeting, Francis assured the parents: “The Pope loves your children as they are, because they are children of God.”

“The church does not exclude them because she loves them deeply.”

Before leaving the meeting the association gave Francis a rainbow-coloured T-shirt with the words “In love, there is no fear” emblazoned on it.

While the Catholic Church’s long-standing anti-LGBT+ stance has deeply affected LGBT+ people of faith, Francis’s meeting with Tenda di Gionata suggests there will be a more open dialogue moving forward.

Grassi, says she experienced “very strong emotions” in her encounter with Pope Francis.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God.

“Nobody helped me.”

“Meeting the Holy Father in the audience as “Jonathan’s Tent” means a lot”, another Tenda di Gionata member commented.

“It is the recognition of the pastoral activity that the ecclesial realities scattered throughout the territory have been carrying out for many years now. A church on the way that welcomes us and meets its pastor,” said Filippo M.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , ,