Pope Francis told the press Sunday that the Catholic Church should seek forgiveness for how it has treated the LGBT community in the past. The Pope emphasized that an apology would not be enough, but that the Church must also ask for forgiveness.
Not everyone agrees. One group, Faith In America, has rejected the apology.
“Pope Francis’ comments about the Church’s ‘past treatment’ of gays doesn’t acknowledge the harm being caused in present day. The harm LGBT people face from the church is ongoing,” Eliel Cruz, Executive Director of Faith In America said. “The Church’s teachings on homosexuality as sinful is causing this harm.”
Francis’ request for forgiveness came as a response, not as something he initiated, to comment on Cardinal Reinhard Marx, an advisor to Francis’, similar comments. Both Marx and Francis’ expressed concern for how the Church has hurt the gay community in the past without recognizing the harm being caused today.
“Seeking an apology without recognizing the root cause of the harm caused is useless,” Cruz said. “Francis’ apologizes for harm caused without changing the theology that continues to do this harm. This is abuser dynamics in which Pope Francis and the Catholic Church act as abusers would. Francis continues to believe LGBT people are ‘intrinsically disordered.’ The Catholic Church’s teachings on LGBT people demonizes the community. They cannot apologize and seek forgiveness while they’re still actively harming the LGBT community. Apologies are empty without commitment to reparations.”
Francis also discussed the role of women in the Catholic Church.
“Women think differently than we men do,” he said, “and we cannot make good, sound decisions without listening to the women.”