Words: Will Stroude; Image: Wiki Commons
Pope Francis has told parents not to condemn their gay children, in his latest softening of language towards LGBTQ people.
The head of the Catholic Church urged parents to be supportive if their children have "different sexual orientations" during his during his weekly general audience on Wednesday (26 January).
"Parents who see that their children have different sexual orientations, how they manage that and accompany their children and not hide behind a condemning attitude," Associated Press quotes the pontiff as saying during his speech.
"Never condemn a child," he added.
Pope Francis, who was elected to the head of the Catholic Church in 2013, has adopted a (comparatively) more inclusive stance towards LGBTQ people than his predecessors.
The 85-year-old Argentinian famously said "Who am I to judge?" in 2013 when asked about gay priests and went so far as to say that the Church should "apologise" to gay people three years later.
However, Pope Francis still ranks as one of the most powerful barriers to LGBTQ equality in the world, remaining a staunch opponent of marriage equality and implying in 2018 that LGBTQ youth should seek psychiatric help.
Though Pope Francis previously expressed supporting for gay civil unions, last year he allowed the release of a Vatican decree stating the Catholic Church would not be allowed to bless them as "God does not bless sin."