The pontiff, Pope Francis has urged the Roman Catholic Church to apologise to gays for the way they are being treated, saying they deserve to be respected. He said the Church had no right to judge homosexuals and should not be discriminated against.
The Pope, who spoke to reporters on his plane on his way from Armenia, also demanded the Church to seek forgiveness from other people it had marginalised, including women, the poor, and children forced into labour.
BBC reports that the Pope has been hailed by many in the gay community for his positive attitude towards homosexuals while some conservative Catholics have criticised him for making comments they described as ambiguous about sexual morality.
Pope said, "I will repeat what the catechism of the (Roman Catholic) Church says, that they (homosexuals) should not be discriminated against, that they should be respected, accompanied pastorally.
"I think that the (Roman Catholic) Church not only should apologise to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologise for having blessed so many weapons."
In 2013, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.
"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" he had said.