Pope Francis on gays: ‘Who am I to judge?’

exministriesCatholic Church, LGBT15 Comments

By Matt Knight | wtkr.com

popefrancisABOARD THE PAPAL AIRPLANE (CNN) – Pope Francis said Monday that he will not “judge” gays and lesbians — including gay priests — signaling a shift from his predecessor and offering another sign that the new pope is committed to changing the church’s approach to historically marginalized groups.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said in a wide-ranging news conference aboard the papal plane.

Though answering a question about the so-called gay lobby at the Vatican, the pope’s remarks seemed to signal a change in tone, if not in teaching, in the church’s stance toward gays and lesbians more generally.

The pope was flying back to Rome from Brazil, where he spent the past week celebrating World Youth Day, an international Catholic event that drew millions.

Taking questions from reporters aboard the plane, the pope addressed nearly every hot-button issue facing the Roman Catholic Church: its alleged “gay lobby,” Vatican bank corruption, the role of women, abortion, homosexuality and his own personal security.

But it was the pope’s remarks on homosexuality — the head of a 1 billion-member church saying that he will not judge gays — that caused the widest stir.

“Pope Francis’ brief comment on gays reveals great mercy,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at America, a Catholic magazine based in New York.

Martin noted that Francis also showed “greater compassion for divorced and remarried Catholics, a group that has long felt marginalized in the church, and called for a ‘deeper theology’ on the role of women in the church.”

“Today Pope Francis has, once again, lived out the Gospel message of compassion for everyone,” Martin said.

The pontiff spoke on the record for an hour and a half in the back of the plane that was carrying him back to Italy after his first international trip as pope to Brazil, where he was greeted by massive, frenzied crowds at every turn.

“I’m happy. It has been a beautiful trip, spiritually speaking; it has been good to me. I’m tired enough but with a heart full of joy,” he said.

On Sunday, the mayor’s office in Rio de Janeiro said more than 3 million people came to Copacabana Beach for a morning Mass with Francis, who was in Brazil for the weeklong World Youth Day celebration.

Security issues plagued the trip because of Francis’ immense popularity as the first Latin America pope. His arriving motorcade was mobbed after a wrong turn, prompting the Brazilian military to raise the trip’s security level to “high risk” and send in reinforcements to protect the pontiff, who insisted on being close to the people.

“There is always the danger that there is the crazy person, and we never know what he or she will do,” Francis said. “But to create a safety barrier between the bishop and its people is insane. And I’m outside this security. I prefer the risks of the madness outside, to be close to the people.”

On the ‘gay lobby’ and homosexuality

LGBT-Catholics-with-bannerThe pope addressed the issue of an alleged “gay lobby” within the church. Hints that the Holy See contained a network of gay clergy surfaced last year in reports about a series of embarrassing leaks to Italian journalists.

The “Vatileaks” scandal factored in Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s shocking decision to resign this year, according to some church experts, as it impressed upon the 86-year-old pontiff that the modern papacy requires a vigorous and watchful presence.

“There’s a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I’ve never seen it on the Vatican ID card!” Francis said.

“When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”

The problem, he said was, lobbies that work against the interest of the church.

In 2005, during Benedict’s papacy, the Vatican issued directives barring from the priesthood men “who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’ “

Francis’ brief remarks seem to signal a sharp shift from that policy.

On women

The pope also spoke out about the role of women in the church, saying it needs to be deeper and not end. But he brushed aside the possibility of ordaining women as priests, saying the church had spoken on the matter: “The church says no. That door is closed.” He did say that more work needed to be done theologically on the role of women in the church.

On abortion

Pope watchers have noted that Francis said little to nothing about abortion on his trip to Brazil. Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except for cases in which the health of the mother is at risk. Laws were recently changed to allow abortions in cases in which the child would be born with certain life-threatening birth defects.

The pope said he had nothing to say on the trip about abortion because the church teachings against it were clear and this trip was the time for “positive” news.

On divorce

“I believe this is a time of mercy, a change of epoch,” the pope said when asked about divorce. He said the group of eight cardinals tasked with reform will explore the issue of whether divorcees can receive Communion, which they are currently barred from doing.

On the Vatican Bank

The pope conceded he was unsure what to do with the Vatican Bank, which is known by its acronym IOR.

“Some say that it would be better if it were a bank, others say that it should be a foundation. Other say to shut it down. These are the suggestions going around. I don’t know. I trust the commission’s members that are working on the IOR. But I wouldn’t be able to tell you how this story is going to end.”

And as for what was in the black leather bag he carried onto the plane? A razor, a prayer book, a diary and a book about St. Theresa, but, the pope joked, “Certainly not the keys to the atomic bomb!”

He said he carried his own bags because “It’s normal, we have to be normal. We have to be accustomed to being normal.”

15 Comments on “Pope Francis on gays: ‘Who am I to judge?’”

  1. Stan Rogers

    According to the scriptures the false prophet will come out from the Vatican, if it isn’t pope Francis, it’s most definitely the same spirit.

  2. Robert

    The pope only has the spiritual authority of Satan, let’s be clear on that. He does not know the Lord God and if he if were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit he would know what the Bible says in response to this deadly lifestyle and not condone it,but since he is anti-Christ he condones the very destruction of the image of God and the Vatican practices homosexuality in secret. We know what Leviticus and Romans says concerning homosexaulity. I do realize that some are seemingly trapped in this lifestyle. We know by one of the last EX TV broadcasts that there are four types of homosexuals, the ones who want to get out, the ones who are prideful about it, the ones that pretend that they want to be delivered and the ones that have no desire to get out. If one truly wants to be delivered they can be. I pray that those who are of the false religion of Catholicism come out and serve the True and Living God

  3. Iris

    The only thing missing from the widespread reporting of his remarks is, for me, the crucial element: He said if a person is homosexual who is NOT sexually active, and is seeking the Lord, etc etc….NO ONE who is not married should be having a physical relationship with anyone else according to my KJV bible….I had no problem with his WHOLE comment but the worldwide press wants to make it seem that he is trying to be accepting or beginning to be more tolerant of openly homosexual living/lifestyle. And that was not the tone or posture of his remarks as I heard them. He spoke the truth about not judging someone who recognizes the error of their ways and is seeking God for deliverance. That IS what we as Christians are supposed to be doing even ourselves. Let us see how far out of wack the world culture/press/system pushes this point!

  4. crystal

    God has already judged homosexuality, why, as the leader of the Catholic faith, would you not support the command of God. And he should have clarified himself. So does that mean priest can be openly gay and serve?

  5. shayshay

    This is so sad this pope is telling folks what is going to happen folks are going to have to accpt gays and there lifestyle and as well the pedodphilia lifestyle. This mess is sick so this pope is saying those that are popes and them that are of the clergy can now sleep with young child without getting in trouble lady gaga said it best for them this is the way I am (sick). This pedodphilia and homosexual law was not just for them that are outside the church walls it was for them that hide behind them long robes and long crosses that are in the churches. This is real stuff here. And they are going to have a one world bank and it will be the vatican banks smh if it is not already… Sorry folks really need to home school there children this will save on your children getting rapped and molested by some grown nasty adult. something worth taking a pay cut… And this pope is not God…

  6. Dr. I.J. West

    This is shameful but not surprising, and a clear sign that the prophecies of the Bible are true about these last days. It is no coincidence that we have two leaders of prominent ethnicity in two of the most powerful offices in the world such as the U.S. Presidency and the Papal seat of the Vatican in Rome. While it is a signal of great change in the attitudes of people towards race, Satan is using it to lure people of color further into the deception that he is unleashing on the world through the spirit of anti-Christ to set the world up for the actual anti-Christ. It will be no different for the Jews who will be deceived by one of their own. It doesn’t mean people of color are evil or incapable of strong leadership but that the enemy is highly deceptive and intuitive in using the good things and advancements of men against them to bring about his agenda. White culture in large part, as seen in Europe, has long been veered towards atheistic tendencies and existential beliefs; no offense intended. Many of the churches in Europe are museums now and not used for worship. The Church needs to be the Church more than any other time in human history in this present day and age. Jesus Christ is soon to come and we must be ready.

  7. Rickiya

    We are truly in the last days, I guess since the pope has spoken many in the world will make it seem as if God himself has spoken, but the real people of God know the truth, the word of the one and only living God will never change! the pope has no power or authority over true Good fearing believers!!!!! We will still stand and proclaim the name of the Lord forever!!!!!!!

  8. Kevin

    When they brought this new pope in the objective was supposed to be change. Obviously this was the plan all along, the guise of bringing a new face and attitude was just setting up thier agenda by twisting the perspective on the topic. I am disappointed but not surprised, I pray that Christian chruch does not follow the same suit even some already have and denying the bible right in front of us regarding homosexuality. I just hope this does begin a tidal wave of changes or events that effect the Christian church.

  9. Melisizwe Tile

    Total rebellion against God in high places, I wonder what are the preachers who went there and bowed to the system. This is clearly exposes the agenda of TBN ministers who bragg about their visits to the pope.

  10. Tala

    This is certainly no surprise that a false prophet would speak contrary to God. This false religion of catholicism is helping to usher in the nwo. Of course they will accept homosexuality/pedophilia because this cult is full of both. We must pray that God reveals the truth about this to those who seek him.

  11. Kevia Goode

    It is so far pass time for The True Church and followers of Christ to get active, and begin to counter this false doctrine. The Voice of the LORD is far mightier than that of the doing of those who oppose.
    The Word of GOD is clear with no mystery, and HIS stance is clear upon who will and who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I hear believers say “I can’t wait until the day the Lord returns”, while I am anticipating HIS arrival, I am thankful for the delay.
    There are far too many who are still lost and many who are victims of being deceived and we still have work to do before it’s too late. Jesus said to Peter, “if you love me feed my sheep!”
    How can one claim to be a Christian and not believe and truly Follow Christ? anything other than that is Anti-Christ.

  12. Jeane K

    It’s the Pope, NOT one bit shocked by what he said, when was the last time we saw him “read from the Scriptures” when it comes to what’s going on in our world and what God/Jesus has to say about it, or even say “thus saith the Lord” when it pertains to SIN??? Keep your eyes, ears, etc. on what these Popes are saying, and what’s coming out of and going into the ‘Vatican’ (and pray earnestly for those in the Catholic faith, that they may “come out of her before it’s too late), because the Will have something to do with the antichrist down the road. Help us Lord.

  13. Dr. Larry Smith

    The Pope is confirming to the anti- Christ agenda. That’s what the homosexual movement is all about, to usher in the homosexual anti – Christ himself. Everything is lining up with scripture, Like our president who represents government the pope represents religion. The U.S. military has already conformed to the homosexual anti-Christ agenda. This is massive and marks time that we cannot disregard . The time for the rapture is here. The major rulers are in place. No more church as usual is the message we declare at EOFCC in Memphis Tn.
    Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (II Thessalonians 2:1-4, 8-10 NKJV)
    And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (II Thessalonians 2:8-10 NKJV)
    Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, (nor the desire of women), nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. (Daniel 11:37 KJV)

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