Vatican doctors Pope's remarks on ‘psychiatric help’ for gay children, says he did not mean it
Pope Francis told a reporter that parents should seek psychiatric help if their children had homosexual tendencies. The Vatican says he did not mean it and removed those words from the official transcript, however.
The comment in question was reportedly made as the pontiff was flying back to Rome from Ireland on Sunday. While the Pope has earlier implied that there is nothing wrong with being gay, this time he said that “a lot that can be done through psychiatry” no later than in childhood and added that ignoring such a child is “error of fatherhood or motherhood.”
“When it 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,” Pope Francis told reporters, as cited by multiple outlets.
However, that reference was not included in a transcript published by the Holy See Press Office on Monday.
The Vatican did not deny the alteration, saying that the quote had been erased to avoid confusion.
“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 Vatican spokeswoman told AFP.
Last week, Pope Francis was accused of inaction over sexual abuse claims against a prominent US priest, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, which the pontiff allegedly knew about. The claim was made by former Vatican ambassador to the US, Carlo Maria Vigano, who even called for the pope’ resignation.
However, the pope refused to comment on the allegations, calling on the public to “judge for yourselves.”
The Catholic Church has recently found itself in the epicenter of the sex abuse scandal and had to acknowledge that priests were really involved in it, after a Pennsylvania grand jury published a report that found 300 “predator priests” had abused children for decades.
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