Pope Francis told a group of parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are” and “the church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”
He did so in a brief encounter with some 40 Italian parents of LGBT children after the public audience in the Renaissance courtyard of San Damaso in the Vatican.
The parents are members of an Italian association founded in 2018, Tenda di Gionata, which welcomes and provides information and formation to LGBT Christians, their families and pastoral workers.
Mara Grassi, the vice president of the association, told Pope Francis: “We wish to create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.”
Having listened carefully to what she said, Pope Francis reassured her: “The church does not exclude them because she loves them deeply.”