Pope Francis reportedly held a private meeting with parents of LGBT children.

According to Jesuit weekly America Magazine, Francis told the parents that “God loves your children as they are” and that there is a place for them in the church.

“The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God,” the pontiff reportedly told the parents.

Francis was speaking to about 40 members of “Tenda di Glonata” (“Jonathan's Tent”), an Italian group of Christian parents with children who identify as LGBT.

The parents briefly met with Francis in the courtyard of San Damaso at the Vatican. They gave him a rainbow-colored t-shirt that read, “In love there is no fear.”

The group's vice president, Mara Grassi, reportedly told the pope: “We wish to create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.”

Grassi said that after learning that her son was gay she felt “like a blind person” because she thought her son would be excluded from the church. “Nobody helped me,” she said.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that gay sex is a sin.