What’s your reaction to Pope Francis saying he won’t judge gay priests?

ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT (AP) – 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.

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Today’s Question: What’s your reaction to Pope Francis saying he won’t judge gay priests for their sexual orientation?


  • PaulJ

    Those guys talk with such nuanced meaning , my first reaction is to question his definition of “judge”.

  • Gary F

    From the BBC’s website

    “Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

    “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” ”

    “But he condemned what he described as lobbying by gay people.

    “The problem is not having this orientation,” he said. “We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem.” ”

    I think the world is trying to make too much of the new Pope. He seems to be a very humble and back to basics type a guy.

  • JQP

    Actual humility in a Pope … recognizing the end sum of a persons worth instead discriminating on each and every individual value being summed.

    It’d be nice if the rest of the bible-humping communities learned that their “good book” isn’t a penal code.

  • marie

    Pope Francis is commenting on how we as humans are not God. Mercy and compassion for people acting in sin. This is the teaching of the Catholic Church.

  • Susan

    People on this forum seem to be making little of this, but I think it’s a big deal. It is definitely a shift in message from what has come before. For gay priests to know that they are not being condemned or “rooted out” from the priesthood is a big deal. It’s a long way from the Visitation of US seminaries and schools of theology to see if there were gay people training for ministry. But of course, he’s assuming that they, like straight priests, are celibate. Were the comments extended to gay parishioners in relationships or just to gay priests? It is definitely a welcome shift to me.

  • reggie

    The media spends FAR too much time doting on the pope. Setting aside the question of why any gay man would want to be a catholic priest in the first place, the important part of the pope’s well-quoted statement is the last clause: “who am I to judge?” If he and other religious adherents truly lived by this, we’d all have many fewer religion-induced conflicts. “Mind your own business” ought to be as frequently intoned as “do unto others…”

  • Guest

    it’s time to get back to the basics: raping little kids. enough of this compassionate window dressing.

  • jeffjordan

    he doesn’t need to judge them because he believes that god will send them to burn in hell anyway. it’s a convenient way to look compassionate. he should get back to assisting with the rape of innocent children and taking advantage of third world countries, as is the long and proud tradition of the catholic church.

  • joe

    This is a classic example on how the media DISTORTS and TWISTS and LIES. Shame on MPR for ever reporting this SICK TWIST of what the man said.
    So much for MPR calling themselves un-biased…

    The Pope isn’t condoning homosexuality, he’s saying if a person repents of sin (including homosexual or heterosexual misdeeds), stops doing it, and turns God, then “Who is he (the Pope) to judge.” Isn’t it interesting how they report this news before the official transcript is available for people to read themselves.

    But don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself….

    I would like to ask permission to pose a rather delicate question.
    Another image that went around the world is that of Monsignor Ricca and the
    news about his personal life. I would like to know, your Holiness, what
    will be done about this question. How should one deal with this question
    and how does your Holiness wish to deal with the whole question of the gay

    The Pope’s Answer
    [Pope Francis’s response:] Regarding the matter of Monsignor Ricca, I
    did what Canon Law required and did the required investigation. And from the
    investigation, we did not find anything corresponding to the accusations
    against him. We found none of that. That is the answer.

    But I would like to add one more thing to this: I see that so many times in the
    Church, apart from this case and also in this case, one looks for the
    “sins of youth,” for example, is it not thus? And then these things
    are published. These things are not crimes. The crimes are something else:
    child abuse is a crime.

    But sins, if a person, or secular priest or a nun, has committed a sin and then
    that person experienced conversion, the Lord forgives and when the Lord
    forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives.

    When we go to confession and we truly say “I have sinned in this matter,” the Lord
    forgets and we do not have the right to not forget because we run the risk that
    the Lord will not forget our sins, eh? This is a danger. This is what is
    important: a theology of sin.

    So many times I think of St. Peter: he committed one of the worst sins denying
    Christ. And with this sin they made him Pope. We must think about fact often.

    But returning to your question more concretely: in this case [Ricca] I did the
    required investigation and we found nothing. That is the first question.

    Then you spoke of the gay lobby. Agh… so much is written about the gay lobby. I have yet to find on a Vatican identity card the word gay. They say there are some gay people here. I think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make
    the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby,
    because lobbies are not good. They are bad. If a person is gay and seeks the
    Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this point beautifully but says, wait a moment, how does it say, it says, these persons must never be marginalized and “they must be integrated into society.”

    The problem is not that one has this tendency; no, we must be brothers, this is
    the first matter. There is another problem, another one: the problem is
    to form a lobby of those who have this tendency, a lobby of the greedy people,
    a lobby of politicians, a lobby of Masons, so many lobbies. This is the
    most serious problem for me. And thank you so much for doing this question.
    Thank you very much!

    • Sue de Nim

      This rant is unfounded. Nowhere in any of the coverage I’ve seen did MPR or NPR give the impression that the Pope was condoning homosexual behavior. They merely reported that his tone seemed different.