Pope Francis told a group of Italian Christian parents last week that “God loves your children as they are,” and that there is a place in the church for them, according to a report.
Last week, Pope Francis spoke to the mothers and fathers of 40 LGBT kids that are from an Italian Association called “Tenda di Gionata,” which roughly translates to Jonathan’s Tent, the Daily Mail reported.
The meeting was held last week in the courtyard of San Damaso at the Vatican, the New York Post reported. The parents presented Pope Francis with a rainbow-colored T-shirt that read, “In love, there is no fear.”
The group was founded in 2018. Their formation was inspired by the late Catholic priest David Esposito, of the Diocese of Fermo, in the Marches region of Italy.
During the meeting, a vice president of the Association, Mara Grassi, presented Pope Francis with the booklet that is entitled “Genitori Fortunati” which translates to fortunate parents. The booklet document experiences of the parents of LGBT children with the church.
The book highlights the difficulties that those seeking to be accepted by the church experience. One main take away is that LGBT children are often viewed as undesirables.
“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,” Grassi told Pope Francis, during the meeting.
Speaking with Avvenire, the daily paper of the Italian Bishops conference, Grassi told the media outlet how families learn to adapt and of their desire to “foster dialogue between the church and the families of LGBT [people].”
“We consider ourselves fortunate because we had to change the way that we had always looked at our children,” Grassi told Avvenire. “We consider ourselves fortunate because we had to change the way that we had always looked at our children.”
During the meeting, Pope Francis told the group that God loves all of His creation and so does the Catholic Church.
“The [Catholic] church does not exclude them because she loves them deeply,” Pope Francis said. “God loves our children because they are all children of God. The church loves our children as they are.”
In 2013, Pope Francis made headlines when he spoke to a gay man, making the statement: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Back in June 2019, the Vatican released a 31-page guide on what it deemed to be a culture-wide gender identity “educational” crisis and “disorientation” that can “annihilate the concept of nature” and “destabilize the family as an institution.”
The Vatican is calling for “dialogue” and “listening” on the subject. The Vatican warns that modern gender concepts are threatening to “cancel out” the natural difference between male and female.
The document was entitled “Male and Female He Created Them.”
“Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”
– Genesis 5:2
The material did not deviate from traditional Catholic teaching. While the document was not signed by Pope Francis, it quotes statements from the Supreme Pontiff, as well as Scripture in putting forth its reasoning.
The Vatican document criticized current theories that assert that gender is a construct. The Vatican called this a “move away from nature” and “towards an absolute option for the decision of the feelings of the human subject.”
The booklet also said that the fluid sexual identities we see now are “often founded on nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants.”
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
– Galatians 5:16-17
This is not the first time the Vatican has spoken out on gender theory. In 2015, the Pope compared gender theory is having the same destructive quality as nuclear arms annihilation.