Pope Francis: 'The Church should apologise to gays and other marginalised communities'

He responded to Cardinal Marx's comments in Dublin last week

Pope Francis, Greece, Lesbos,

Image: Gregorio Borgia / AP/Press Association Images

Last week, one of the nine cardinals chosen by Pope Francis to advise him gave a conference in Trinity College, and the topic of the Orlando shootings came up.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx told the audience: “The history of homosexuals in our societies is very bad because we’ve done a lot to marginalise [them].”

Speaking to The Irish Times after the conference, he said: “We have to respect the decisions of people. We have to respect also, as I said in the first synod on the family, some were shocked but I think it’s normal, you cannot say that a relationship between a man and a man and they are faithful [that] that is nothing, that has no worth."

Yesterday, on a flight from Armenia back to Rome, the Pope fielded questions to a set of journalists, one of whom asked if he agreed with the statemets made by Cardinal Marx.

As reported by NPR, the Pope responded: "I believe that the Church not only should apologise to the person who is gay whom it has offended, but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons."

When asked about the Orlando shootings, the Pope responded: "The Church must say it is sorry for not having behaved as it should many times, many times — when I say 'the Church,' I mean we Christians because the Church is holy; we are the sinners. We Christians must say we are sorry."

He then repeated a line that he first said when originally asked about his opinion on gay Catholics in 2013: "The questions is if a person who has that condition, who has good will, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?"

Reuters reports that Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has clarified on the Pope's use of the word 'condition', as in Italian, 'condition' and 'situation' can be the same word, with the Pope intending to mean 'if a person who is in that situation', and did not imply it to mean a medical condition.