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Pope Francis says children need a mother and a father

By Will Stroude

Pope Francis has continued to undermine his seemingly more open stance on family issues, after reiterating the need for children to have both a mother and a father last weekend.

Just a day after Saturday’s Pride event in Rome on Saturday (June 13), Francis told 25,000 followers from the city’s diocese that experiencing the fundamental “difference” between male and female helped children to mature.


“Children mature seeing their father and mother [happy],” the pontiff said. “Their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have, confronted with this difference.”

He continued: “What great richness this diversity is, a diversity which becomes complementary, but also reciprocal. It binds them, one to the other”.

Earlier this month the Lower House of Italy’s parliament passed a motion committing the government to promote the introductions of gay civil unions for the first time. The socially conservative Catholic nation  is currently the only country in Western Europe not to recognise same-sex relationships in any form, and same-sex adoption is prohibited.

Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Catholic LGBT advocacy group DignityUSA told Huffington Post, said the Pope’s attitude was damaging to many types of family, not just same-sex ones.

“Pope Francis’ message…is harmful to many others in the Catholic Church: single-parent families, families where emotional and physical abuse occurs, families who are separated geographically because of political or economic situations, to name a few, she said”.

“In focusing his attention on a standard of male-female child-rearing, Pope Francis ignores the real economic, political, cultural, and psychological forces which harm contemporary families around the globe.”

Some have credited Pope Francis for taking a less hostile stance towards the issue of homosexuality. In 2013 he told reporters: “If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?” and earlier this year he held a private audience with a trans man.

However, the Pope remains ideologically opposed to same-sex marriage, and only in January was quoted as saying: “The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage”.

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