37°
Light fog
WED
 70°
 42°
THU
 67°
 41°
FRI
 62°
 48°
SAT
 60°
 47°
SUN
 61°
 49°

Pope Francis says he won't judge gay priests

  • Pope Francis speaks during a news conference aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013. Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten. Francis' remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT — Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he won't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked. "We shouldn't marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society."

Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men who had deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory in his first news conference as pope, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

The comments did not signal any change in church policy. Catholic teaching still holds that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered." But they indicated a shift in tone under Francis' young papacy and an emphasis on a church that is more inclusive and merciful rather than critical and disciplinary.

Gay leaders were buoyed by Francis' non-judgmental approach, saying changing the tone was progress in itself, although for some, the encouragement was tempered by Francis talk of gay clergy's "sins."


© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  + |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View