Pope Francis said that the Roman Catholic Church should apologise to gay people for the way it has treated them.
He told reporters on his plane returning from Armenia on Sunday that the Church had no right to judge the gay community, and should show them respect, BBC reported on Monday.
“I will repeat what the catechism of the Church says, that they (homosexuals) should not be discriminated against, that they should be respected, accompanied pastorally,” the Pope said.
He said the Church should seek forgiveness from those whom it had marginalised.
“I think that the Church not only should apologise… to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologise for having blessed so many weapons.”
In 2013, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.
“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” he added.
During his visit to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the Pope described the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman Turkish rule in World War One as “genocide”.