Pope Francis laughed at the idea of same-sex marriage, according to Polish bishops.
Archbishop of Lublin Stanislaw Budzik has revealed personal details of when they went to visit the Vatican last week.
They had asked for advice as the Catholic Church is currently facing fierce criticism over child abuse cases and their opposition to same-sex marriage.
According to Budzik, when the idea of equal marriage was raised ‘the Holy Father laughed and reassured us that he is very close to us and that he, of course, does not want to change anything essential in our faith and that he stands firmly by the Church’s teaching’.
While his predecessor Benedict XVI was deeply opposed to gay rights, once describing homosexuality as a ‘defection of human nature’, Francis has avoided making homophobic statements in public.
Last year, he even said: ‘'If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?'
He has also described the Catholic Church as being too ‘obsessed’ with homosexuality, urging it to find a ‘new balance’.
Little is known about his private views however.
When the pope was an Archbishop in Argentina, he strongly opposed same-sex marriage legislation introduced in 2010 calling it a ‘destructive attack on God’s plan’.
‘We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies[The Devil] that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God,’ Francis said.
In the past, he has also called the adoption of gay couples child abuse, saying it was discrimination against children.