ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) - Pope Francis says gays and others whom the church has marginalized deserve an apology.
Francis was asked Sunday en route home from Armenia if he agreed with one of his top advisers who said after the Orlando nightclub shootings that the church owes an apology to gays for having marginalized them.
Francis responded with a variation of his famous "Who am I to judge?" comment and a repetition of church teaching that gays must not be discriminated against but treated with respect.
He said some politicized behaviors of the homosexual community can be condemned for being "a bit offensive for others." But he said: "Someone who has this condition, who has good will and is searching for God, who are we to judge?" He added "We must accompany them."
He said he thinks the church must also apologize "to the poor, to women who have been exploited, to children forced into labor, apologize for having blessed so many weapons" and for having failed to accompany families who faced divorces or experienced other problems.