Pope Francis tells trans person 'God loves us as we are'

Pope Francis tells trans person 'God loves us as we are'
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Pope Francis reportedly told a young trans person that "God loves us as we are" ahead of a Catholic youth festival in Portugal next week.

Reuters reports that the heartwarming words were towards Giona, who told the religious leader they were "torn by the dichotomy between (their Catholic) faith and transgender identity".

His response came from a podcast released by Vatican media, in which he listened and answered messages from young people.

Francis reportedly told Giona, said to be in her twenties, "The Lord always walks with us ... Even if we are sinners, he draws near to help us. The Lord loves us as we are, this is God's crazy love."

He continued: "Do not give up, keep striving ahead."

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It marks the 86-year-old's latest message to the LGBTQIA+ community, after saying "Who am I to judge" when asked about gay priests back in 2013.

Francis also condemned laws to criminalise members of the community, calling them "unjust." During an interview in January, he said: "Being homosexual isn’t a crime."

He added: "We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity."

That said, he has been subject to controversy in the past with comments comparing nuclear arms to gender identity in 2015.

"Let's think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let's think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation," he said in an interview for the book Pope Francis: This Economy Kills.

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