Pope Francis addressed the same-sex marriage issue on Friday in the Vatican, telling the Archbishop of Canterbury he wants to work together to promote family values “based on marriage.”

The Pope, who has recently kept a low-profile on the topic of same-sex marriage, this Friday met with the Archbishop Welby of Canterbury Justin Welby, in the Vatican to discuss marriage equality.

In the past, before being appointed as Pope, he described same-sex marriage and gay couples adopting as a “destructive attack on God’s plan.”

Although Francis said to the Archbishop that he hoped to work to promote the sacredness of life “and the stability of families founded on marriage,” he did not come out to say that marriage should be the union between a man and  woman like Benedict XVI and John Paul II before him.

Archbishop Welby has previously opposed same-sex marriage legislation in Britain, saying it would abolish, redefine and recreate the marriage institution. He appeared last week before the House of Lords before it moved the equal marriage bill a step closer to becoming law, to argue against it.

The Pope recently came under controversy for his remark about a “gay lobby” to which the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious was forced to issue a formal apology.

Vatican officials have said that the Pope’s remarks this Friday were a diplomatic attempt to make his point without provoking upset.

Back in 2010, then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio fought against the introduction of same-sex marriage and adoption rights in his home country of Argentina saying that the population would “face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family.

He added: “At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”