Pope Francis has recommended that parents should seek psychiatric help for their children if they show homosexual tendencies.
The Pope made his comments on his flight home to Rome from Ireland.
Replying to a journalist who asked him what advice he would offer parents who detected homosexual “traits” in their children.
“I would say first of all pray, not to condemn, to dialogue, to understand, to give space to the son or the daughter,” he said.
“When it [homosexuality] shows itself from childhood, there is a lot that can be done through psychiatry, to see how things are. It is something else if it shows itself after 20 years.”
However, when the Vatican published the transcript of the Pope’s conversation, his comments were removed.
“When the Pope referred to ‘psychiatry’, it is clear that he was doing it to highlight an example of ‘things that can be done’. But with that word he didn’t mean to say that it (homosexuality) was a ‘mental illness’,” a spokesperson said.
The Church condemns all homosexual acts as sinful. However, the Pope said of homosexuals, “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge them?”