Pope asks Catholic Church not to alienate kids of gay or divorced parents

"We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them," said the pontiff

Published January 5, 2014 9:51PM (EST)

Pope Francis has asked the Catholic Church, which opposes gay marriage and divorce, to reconsider its approach to children with gay or divorced parents for fear of alienating them.

According to fragments of a November speech published on Saturday, the AFP reports that the pontiff observed that "on an educational level, gay unions raise challenges for us today which for us are sometimes difficult to understand," and that "the number of children in schools whose parents have separated is very high."

He then told an anecdote about a child: "I remember a case in which a sad little girl confessed to her teacher: 'my mother's girlfriend doesn't love me' ... how can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing?"

Though Francis is not pro-gay marriage, he has previously remarked that "you can't marginalize these people" in reference to the LGBT community. In the speech published Saturday, Francis urged the Catholic Union of Superiors General to "be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

MORE FROM Prachi Gupta

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Catholic Church Divorce Family Lgbt Rights Pope Francis Religion