Pope Francis Urges Parents Of Gay Children Not to 'Throw Them Out Of the Family'

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Pope Francis on April 4, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Francis delivered a message to parents of gay children during his visit to Ireland this morning (Aug. 27). “I would first say to pray. Don’t condemn," he said, via NBC News. "Dialogue. Understand, give the child space so he or she can express themselves.”

Speaking to reporters after a Catholic family rally, Francis explained that silence is not a remedy. “To ignore a son or daughter with homosexual tendencies is a lack of paternity and maternity. And if you, father and mother, can’t do it, let’s ask for help. Because that son or daughter has a right to a family. Don’t throw them out of the family.”

The pontiff added that it’s a “serious challenge,” but it’s part of parenthood.

The last time Ireland had a papal visit was in 1979, when homosexuality was still a crime. Now, the country’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is an openly gay man.