As part of a BBC documentary, Pope Francis told UK comedian Stephen K. Amos that gay people have dignity.

The documentary, titled Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome, follows eight celebrities as they trek from Canterbury to Rome.

In an interview with i, Amos, who is openly gay, said that he refused to meet with Francis unless he was allowed to ask about LGBT rights.

“I’ve been quite vocal in my criticism in certain aspects of the Catholic Church. I thought a private audience meant you go and see him, he blesses you and you leave. I couldn’t in all conscience go and do that, it’s not me,” Amos said.

“Then I said I’d only go if we can ask questions. The producers asked, well, what sort of questions, as we don’t want to spark a diplomatic incident. So we gave in some questions and the answer came back from the Vatican that the Pope will answer any questions that you have.”

Amos told Pope Francis: “I lost my mother; three months ago I buried my twin sister, who were both very religious. So me coming on this pilgrimage, being non-religious, I was looking for answers and faith. But as a gay man, I don't feel accepted.”

“Giving more importance to the adjective [gay] rather than the noun [man], this is not good,” the pontiff replied. “We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are, or how you live your life – you do not lose your dignity.”

“There are people that prefer to select or discard people because of the adjective. These people don’t have a human heart,” he added.

Amos praised the pope's response: “In all fairness he said something that was quite magnificent, because he is one of the most progressive popes in recent times.”