Pope Francis: Same-Sex Couples Are Not 'Families'

Pope Francis

When it comes to stances on LGBT rights, Pope Francis can be hot and cold.

The leader of the Catholic Church was cold on Saturday, when he expressed a limited view of "families" at his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

"It is painful to say this today. People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family," however, "the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one," said Francis, according to Independent Online, a South Africa-based news source.

The pope's definition of a family excludes same-sex couples, in addition to other "varied" nontraditional families like single parents. In his remarks, Francis praised the "sanctity" of women who forgive cheating spouses, calling the act "the sanctity that forgives all out of love."

Francis also evoked the Holocaust on Saturday, when he compared abortion to the forced sterilization practiced by Nazis. "In the last century, the entire world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to ensure the purity of the race," he said. "Today we do the same, but with white gloves."

In May, Francis made international headlines when it was revealed he gave an affirmative message to a gay victim of sexual abuse. “[The pope] told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are,’” said the survivor, Juan Carlos Cruz, in an interview.

Francis also said “Who am I to judge?” in July 2013, in response to a question regarding the existence of gay priests. 

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