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Pope Francis Doesn’t Judge Gays So Long as They Don’t Have Sex

Pope Francis Doesn’t Judge Gays So Long as They Don’t Have Sex

Pope Francis, in what is being called a marked departure from his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI’s tenure, has told journalists that he does not judge gay people or gay priests. How much of a departure is this really?

In what are being called conciliatory remarks on the subject of gay priests, the pontiff told reporters during a lengthy interview on a return flight back from his week-long visit to Brazil that:

“The problem is not having this orientation, it is lobbying. That’s the most serious problem I think.

“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

Pope Francis has previously referred to a secret gay lobby among priests at the Vatican that has worked to affect policy.

One must assume this lobby has been rather ineffectual at least in terms of fostering gay acceptance because, until this juncture, the official stance from Rome has been that while an inclination toward people of the same sex is not of itself sinful, acting upon it is.

The Pope’s words appear to soften that approach further, by implying a recognition of being gay as a sexual orientation — a marked but not new affirmation — and furthermore, that there is no reason to judge them or marginalize them from society solely based on their orientation.

Elena Curti, Deputy Editor of Catholic newspaper The Tablet, told Sky News that these comments are highly significant:

The manner in which he has done it is what’s absolutely key. I mean the church has always taught that homosexuality per se, the inclination, is not sinful. It is homosexual acts that are the problem. But in saying that ‘I have got no problem with homosexual inclination’ in the manner that he did does send out a very clear signal that he has no problem with gay priests.

Those familiar with the Catholic Church’s response to homosexuality under Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis’ predecessor, will recall his regular and preposterously overblown statements that implied homosexuality is a threat to the world that is as significant as climate change and that gay people aren’t “fully developed humans.”

Benedict XVI also specifically recorded his view that people with a “homosexual inclination” should not be priests.

When Pope Francis was appointed, it was widely touted he would be a Pope that would take a less hard-line stance on many issues and so it appears he has offered a more accepting stance on gay priests: that is men who agree to live their lives in celibacy to serve the church and their idea of the holy.

It is important to note that Pope Francis did not, however, walk back on the church’s wider stance that acting on homosexual feelings is sinful, which in turn means that the Church still regards same-sex marriage as unacceptable.

In that same interview, the Pope said that as to the question of the ordination of women priests, “the Church has spoken” and that the “door is closed” to women taking their place as religious leaders. Francis did say, however, that he would like to see room made for women to contribute more widely to the Church.

The BBC quotes Francis as saying:

“We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more.

“But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no… That door is closed.”

So, despite reports that would seem to suggest the contrary, the Pope’s words really add up to little more than we already knew: that under Pope Francis, the Church will welcome homosexual priests who swear themselves to celibacy and dedicate their lives to their religion and that the Church will not give ground on the issue of women priests.

This is, in fact, not new information and nor is it any real climb down, yet the media news machine seems intent on painting this as just another way the Catholic Church is reforming under Pope Francis.

The most we can say here is that the Vatican will, as it has done in the past, continue to rage against same-sex parent families, though from now on maybe it will do so with a more friendly tone and even a smile.

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Image credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales)

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196 comments

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5:56PM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

Check out my

Pope Francis and the Powerless:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Pope-Francis-and-the-Power-by-Dan-Brook-130330-120.html

2:34PM PDT on Aug 12, 2013

The issue here as I read it, is that there's two different discussions going on, as someone already mentioned.

The pope himself said 'I don't judge gays', but then he says 'The Church dose not condo the act of consenting gays having sex'.

What is being compared here is apples and oranges people. In fact, it almost seems like it goes from ANY gay person, to specifically gay priests.

He never seems to touch on the matter of non priest gay sex, possibly because his feelings don't mesh with anyone else's, or because it's not what people want to hear. Reading between the lines, makes me think he's got no objection against non priest gays having sex, given he specifically SAYS priests when he goes on about no sex.

But that is just my take on these comment from the article. Without the full context, it's hard to make any perfect observations. But this time, the writer is twisting words to meet her agenda.

11:55AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

thanks!

11:52AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

There's only one gay pride that I would support: it's the humble pride of a homosexual who lives a celibate life, dedicating himself / herself to loving & serving God and their fellow men.

9:24AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Of course...

8:49AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

They say it's not necessary to say thanks for the green stars we get. And, in fact, there is no link for that. I usually use the link to present mysefl...but I know that is not the right way to do it. Maybe it's not really necessary. However, I want to say thanks to all of you who sent me green stars for my comment for this topic. Thank you so much.

12:17AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

(continued from below, sorry I repeated by mistake).
...Great example, especially when Prince Charles went off to marry his divorced mistress in the Church of Scotland...wow.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones! Mid-western-central U.S.A. is staunchly anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-gay marriages. I suspect bashing Pope Francisco reflects yanquee prejudices of their own.
So much ignorance! I read in this forum that Francisco's predecessor was shot and killed because of corruption. Pope Benedict, his predecessor, resigned because he received murderous threats from the Italian mafiosi who've taken over the Vatican's Bank. He'd tried to intervene, but he was not shot, he was threatened. Pope John XXIII was shot by an islamic person in a crowd, but neither did he die. Many years later, Pope John met and forgave the imprisoned assassin, during an eastern trip. The man converted to catholicism. One pope, many years ago, was poisoned within a month, and did indeed die.
Pope Francisco has chosen to live within the bishops', cardinals' and visitors' quarters because he's safer there. He would be isolated in the large Vatican apartment for the popes. He refuses to live there. The danger is real. The Italian mafiosi will stop at nothing. Many mafiosi have links with Italian church hierarchy, even cardinals, so Francisco has many Italian enemies within his High Church "flock".
That's why Francisco always asks people "to pray for me", sometimes adding "my job i

12:10AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

(continued)...
As for sex within the Church's establishment, of course it happens! If it's between consenting adults, let the Catholic Church deal with it, it's their problem. The church stands divided on many issues.

Pedophilia is an atrocious act and should be dealt with in the courts of justice, preferably with life sentences or even the death penalty (I'm not in favour of death penalty, but when innocent kids are abused, I'm for it). Cover-ups are a terrible thing.

But here again, statistics prove that by far the largest percentage of child abuse is carried out by people with free access to sex. Families, for starters. Then pedophile rings that are rampant the world over, same as slavery in the form of prostitution. Trouble is, the media loves headlines, so pedophilia in the church is always good marketing. And it's true that it sounds worse, since the church pretends to be an example of virtue.

(continued from below).
...Great example, especially when Prince Charles went off to marry his divorced mistress in the Church of Scotland...wow.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones! Mid-western-central U.S.A. is staunchly anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-gay marriages. I suspect bashing Pope Francisco reflects yanquee prejudices of their own.
So much ignorance! I read in this forum that Francisco's predecessor was shot and killed because of corruption. Pope Benedict, his predecessor, resigned because he received murderous threats from the Ita

12:06AM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

(continued)...
As for sex within the Church's establishment, of course it happens! If it's between consenting adults, let the Catholic Church deal with it, it's their problem. The church stands divided on many issues.

Pedophilia is an atrocious act and should be dealt with in the courts of justice, preferably with life sentences or even the death penalty (I'm not in favour of death penalty, but when innocent kids are abused, I'm for it). Cover-ups are a terrible thing.

But here again, statistics prove that by far the largest percentage of child abuse is carried out by people with free access to sex. Families, for starters. Then pedophile rings that are rampant the world over, same as slavery in the form of prostitution. Trouble is, the media loves headlines, so pedophilia in the church is always good marketing. And it's true that it sounds worse, since the church pretends to be an example of virtue.

I was baptized in the Anglican Church. I can think of lots of stuff I could write against the anglicans. To begin with, their founder was Henry XVIII, because he wanted to divorce his catholic and childless wife. He broke off with Rome and he went on to behead five more wives! Nice founder...hmmm....Why haven't the anglicans claimed leadership for the Archbishop of Canterbury, instead of retaining it to this day for the royals? And what royals, over the centuries!!! Great example, especially when Prince Charles went off to marry his divorced mistress in the Church o

11:56PM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

I'm very sad that Steve Williams, one of Care2's directors, has written such a misleading article, beginning with the title, which is a miss-quote of what Pope Francisco really said. This has lead to hate comments instead of caring or questions. I've written to Care2 personally, but I'm not optimistic about getting an answer from Steve.
Pope Francisco said: "Whom am I to judge gays?". He was referring to gays in general, outside or inside the church. He did not mention sex in this wide context.
When asked more questions, he indeed said that gays or lesbians must take celibacy vows if they wish to serve the Catholic Church as priests or nuns. Surely nobody thinks that gays or lesbians would be exempt from celibacy vows that all else must take to be priests or nuns?
Actually, the celibacy vows are taken after seminarists have finished their studies, which last a number of years. In the same way that women novices don't take vows until they finish their theological studies. Call it brainwashing if you wish. It started centuries ago when the church wanted properties, wealth and power. The families of married men would inherit everything, so the idea was to avoid that.
Different methods, but the same abyss between powerful rich and ever more starving millions, or disappearing middle classes of present times. Hypocrites all!

As for sex within the Church's establishment, of course it happens! If it's between consenting adults, let the Catholic Church deal with it, it's th

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