“God loves your children as they are” says Pope Francis to parents of LGBT youth

“God loves your children as they are,” said Pope Francis to a group of 40-something parents of LGBT children after his public audience. Gathering in the Renaissance courtyard in the Vatican, Tenda di Gionata, an Italian association that fosters the formation of LGBT Christians and their families, came to Pope Francis in the courtyard and had a short conversation where he also told them, “the church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

WhenInManila Pope Francis

The association has been focusing on trying to create a connection with the church, as many members of the LGBT community are often turned away or feel they cannot be included like there is no place for them in the church.

The president of the association told the Pope that they “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.” He reassured her by saying, “The church does not exclude them because she loves them deeply.”

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