In a meeting with a delegation of French legislators in the Vatican City today, Pope Francis urged for religion to be considered in lawmaking. While avoiding particular mention of the country’s recent legalisation of same-sex marriage, he warned against legislating according to “fashions” rather than religious “spirit”.

Reuters reports that in an apparent reference to France’s new equal marriage legislation, which was signed into law by President Francois Hollande last month, the Pope stated: “The church would like to offer specific contributions on profound issues … not only in an anthropological and social circles, but also in political, economic and cultural ones.”

According to Le Monde, he also warned against the deeply secular French legal system disregarding religious belief.
He said: “The principle of secularism which governs relations between the French State and the various religious denominations must not mean in itself being hostile to religious reality.”

He told the group of senators and other lawmakers to make their decisions based on “a spirit, a soul, that does not reflect only the fashions and ideas of the moment”, adding that “the eyes of the world” often turn to France.

The Pope recently sparked controversy with a remark about a “gay lobby” within the Vatican, for which the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious was forced to issue a formal apology.

However, in a recent meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis surprised by discussing marriage without condemning same-sex marriages. He said to the Archbishop that he hoped to work to promote the sacredness of life “and the stability of families founded on marriage,” but unlike his predecessors did not say that marriage should be the union between a man and  woman.