'Who am I to judge gay people?' Pope Francis marks shift in Catholic attitude to homosexuality on Brazil trip
'If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him? You should not discriminate against or marginalise these people, and the Catechism says this as well'
Pope Francis has held out something resembling an olive branch to equality campaigners, after telling reporters it was not his position to judge people on account of their sexuality.
Returning to Rome from Rio de Janeiro today after triumphant World Youth Day celebrations, the Pontiff made his comments on homosexuals after a journalist quizzed him on the supposed “gay lobby” in the Vatican.
“A lot is written on the gay lobby in the Holy See, but I don’t have a list of those involved,” he said. “The problem is the formation of lobbies of whatever tendency – political, Masonic or gay. Lobbies are not good.
“But if someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him? You should not discriminate against or marginalise these people, and the Catechism says this as well.”
The exchange, part of an informal, mid-air press conference, underlined the different approach and personality of Pope Francis compared to his more formal predecessor.
Pope Benedict XVI, who abdicated earlier this year, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis has been more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
Reporters on board the Pontiff’s aircraft said he was warm and witty during a press questions that lasted almost an hour and a half. He also made a point of responding to every question - even thanking the journalist who raised allegations by an Italian news magazine that one of his trusted monsignors, Battista Ricca the Vatican bank prelate, had been found trapped in a lift with a rent boy.
He said he had investigated the allegations and found them to be groundless.
He also made the point of distinguishing between a sin, which homosexuality might be considered under church teaching, and crimes, the category that he said paedophilia clearly fell into – perhaps underlining the church’s growing tolerance of child-abusing clerics.
The Argentine Pontiff was flying back from Brazil, his first overseas visit, which culminated with a rally on Rio’s Copacabana Beach attracting a crowd of nearly three million people.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
Syrian teenager Usaid Barho reveals how he escaped from Isis using a suicide vest
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...