Pope Francis has been surrounded by controversy lately. Recently, Inquisitr reported that he was accused by former Vatican official Carlo Maria Viganò of hiding evidence of sexual abuse and misconduct. Now, according to The Guardian, the Vatican has removed a comment by the pope from their website.
The comment recommended that parents seek psychiatric help for children who show homosexual tendencies. The Associated Press mentions that he also recommended prayer, dialogue, and space, but that is also depending on the child's age and when the "turmoil" started. "Because it means something if it shows up when you are still a child, when there are a lot of things to be done, either with psychiatric help or to see how things are. While it is something else when it shows up 20 years later."
Pope Francis made the statement to reporters as he was returning from Ireland to Rome. During the trip, a reporter had asked what he would say to parents who notice homosexual traits in their children. The Vatican later removed the comment from its official transcript and said he had not meant to suggest that homosexuality was a mental illness.
The pope went on to say that ignoring a child who showed homosexual tendencies was an "error of fatherhood or motherhood."
However, when asked why the official record had been changed, a Vatican spokeswoman said, "When the pope referred to 'psychiatry,' it is clear that he was doing it to highlight an example of 'things that can be done.' But with that word he didn't mean to say that it (homosexuality) was a 'mental illness.'"
According to The Associated Press, the Vatican often cleans up comments from the pope.
The statement was made during the pope's trip to Ireland. The trip was fraught with controversy, not only for this comment but also due to the accusations that he knew about and ignored sexual misconduct from U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In an 11-page letter, former Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claims that Pope Francis knew about the abuse decades earlier and chose to do nothing about it. The pope's response to those allegations has been to remain silent, claiming that the evidence speaks for itself. The pope told reporters that he wouldn't say one word about it and "you have sufficient journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions." The Guardian reports that while in Ireland, the pope asked thousands of people for forgiveness.
"We ask for forgiveness for the times that, as a church, we did not show the survivors of whatever kind of abuse the compassion and the seeking of justice and truth through concrete actions."