Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Episcopal Conference of India, said that the Church has 'never considered gay people criminals,' reports The Catholic Herald.
His comments followed a decision by the Supreme Court of India to restore a law banning homosexual acts.
According to reports, Cardinal Gracias, a member of the Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis on Curial reform, said 'the Catholic Church has never been opposed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people criminals.'
'As Christians, we express our full respect for homosexuals. The Catholic Church is opposed to the legalisation of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse,' Cardinal Gracias said.