Pope Francis issued an apology to the LGBT community on behalf of the Catholic Church on Sunday, after being asked if he agreed with remarks made by a top adviser, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx in Dublin days earlier. During a conference, Marx told a crowd that the church owes an apology to gay people for having marginalized them.

Reinforcing that apology, Pope Francis said, "I think the church must not only apologize ... to a gay person it offended, but we must apologize to the poor, to women who have been exploited, to children forced into labor, apologize for having blessed so many weapons."

He added that if a person is gay and has good will, and is searching for God, then "who are we to judge?"

Instead of discriminating LGBT people, Pope Francis said, "We must accompany them."

The Human Rights campaign said the pontiff's words "are a welcome step toward bringing LGBTQ Catholics closer into the Church and healing the wounds of those who have felt pushed away from their Church and its teachings."

But many LGBT Catholics remain skeptical of the apology because it has not been followed by meaningful action. 

DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke said this apology could be an important step in healing the relationship between the LGBTQ community and the Catholic Church, but that the Church needs to "take concrete actions that demonstrate its commitment to treating LGBT people justly from now on."

Read more here. 

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