Pope Francis, who is the head of the Catholic Church, has told a young transgender person: “God loves us all.”
However, the religious figure implied during the same conversation that trans people are “sinners” by adding: “The Lord always walks with us… Even if we are sinners.”
The Pope, 86, spoke to a group of young people in the latest episode of The Vatican’s podcast series titled Popecast.
He listened to several stories including from someone called Giona. They detailed being “torn by the dichotomy between [their Catholic] faith and transgender identity.”
“Do not give up, keep striving ahead”
The Head of the Catholic Church replied: “The Lord always walks with us… Even if we are sinners, he draws near to help us.
“The Lord loves us as we are, this is God’s crazy love.”
The Pope went on to add: “Do not give up, keep striving ahead.”
This latest remark continues a thread of his of reaching out to the LGBTQ community.
He has previously said “who am I to judge?” when he was quizzed on gay priests back in 2013.
He has also condemned laws which seek to criminalise members of the LGBTQ+ community, calling them “unjust”.
“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview with the Associated Press in January this year.
“We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity,” he added.
Regarding bishops who support anti-LGBTQ laws, the Pope said bishops “have to have a process of conversion.” He also said that they should apply “tenderness” to every person.
Though Pope Francis has previously expressed support for gay civil unions, in 2021 he allowed the release of a Vatican decree. This stated the Catholic Church would not be allowed to bless them as “God does not bless sin.”
Since being elected as the head of the Catholic Church in 2013, Pope Francis has adopted a (comparatively) more inclusive stance towards LGBTQ people than his predecessors. In 2017 he went so far as to say that the Church should “apologise” to gay people.