KNOCK, Ireland (AP) — Pope Francis says parents of gay children shouldn’t condemn them, ignore their orientation or throw them out of the house. Rather, he says they should pray, talk and try to understand.
Speaking to reporters after closing out a Catholic family rally in Ireland, Francis said: “There have always been gay people and people with homosexual tendencies.”
Francis was asked what he would tell a father of a child who just came out as gay. Francis said he would first suggest prayer.
“Don’t condemn. Dialogue. Understand, give the child space so he or she can express themselves.”
Francis said it might be necessary seek psychiatric help if a child begins to exhibit “worrisome” traits, but that it’s something else if an adult comes out as gay.
He urged parents not to respond with silence. “Ignoring child with this tendency shows a lack of motherhood and fatherhood.”
He said: “This child has the right to a family. And the family not throwing him out.”