Pope Francis yesterday endorsed a referendum that would ban marriage and adoption rights to gay people in Slovakia, which will be voted on this Saturday, February 7.
During Wednesday’s general audience in Rome, the Pope welcomed visitors from Slovakia and commended them for doing their part to “defend” the family.
He said, “I’m sending my regards to Slovak pilgrims, and through them I would like to express my support to the Church in Slovakia, encouraging everybody to continue in the fight for the defense of the family, the life-giving unit of society.”
During his papacy, Pope Francis has been giving somewhat mixed signals about his stance on homosexuality. In 2013, gay publication The Advocate named him Person of the Year for saying, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”
He also stated that as a Cardinal, he would “receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they feel like the church has always condemned them,” adding, “But the church does not want to do this.”
Despite his positive comments towards the LGBT community, the Pope has stated that the Church cannot endorse “gay marriage, abortion and the use of contraceptive methods,” saying, “This is not possible.”
The Pope’s comments come at a time when LGBT rights groups in Slovakia are blaming the Church for pushing the referendum that would deny LGBT rights.
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