Pope Francis tells young trans person that 'God loves us as we are'
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During a podcast, the Pope listened to messages from young people ahead of the Catholic youth festival next week, as per Vatican Media.
One message was from Giona, who expressed that they were struggling with ‘the dichotomy between (their Catholic) faith and transgender identity’.
However, the Pope assured them that ‘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," he said.
“Do not give up, keep striving ahead."
Earlier this year, the 86-year-old condemned anti-gay laws and called on Catholic bishops to welcome LGBTQIA+ people into the church.
While he acknowledged that some Catholic priests consider queerness a ‘sin’, he hoped their attitudes would eventually change, which signals a huge cultural shift is happening within the church.
“These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply ‘tenderness, please, as God has, for each one of us’, as per The Guardian.
He added that criminalizing homosexuality was ‘unjust’ and it must end.
“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.
While the Pope has been hailed for making waves for the LBGTQIA+ comment, that hasn’t stopped him from running into controversy too.
In 2015, Pope Francis was criticised for comparing gender identity to ‘nuclear arms’.
"Let's think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let's think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation,” he said in an interview with veteran Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi for the book Pope Francis: This Economy Kills.
Reverend James Martin, the author of Building a Bridge, a book about how the Catholic church can reach out to the LGBTQIA+ community, said that the leader’s comments perpetuate the notion that you ‘choose’ your gender.
“Anyone who thinks that being transgender is a response to ideology has not spoken to many transgender people,” he said, as per The New York Times.