A group of international lawyers researching the criminalization of homosexuality has met with the Vatican secretary of state and urged the Holy See to publicly oppose such laws and "conversion" therapies for gays.

The Vatican said Cardinal Pietro Parolin promised the delegation members he would relay their research to Pope Francis.

The Vatican statement ended a roller coaster week of leaks and denials about Friday's visit to the Vatican of members of the International Bar Association, the Inter American Institute of Human Rights and a U.N. Latin American institute.

The groups had said they expected a "historic speech" from Francis during their visit, and a French gay journalist reported Francis would oppose criminalizing homosexuality. But the papal audience was recently cancelled, and the delegation instead met Parolin privately.