The Pope made headlined after had called homosexuality “a deviation” and “an irregularity” that should preclude gay men from becoming priests.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” the Pope said during an interview with reporters. “We shouldn’t marginalise people for this. They must be integrated into society.”
Pope Francis spoke to the media soon after he returned from Rio to Rome, a day after celebrating Mass in front of a three-milion Catholics crowd on Copacabana beach.
The given comments, however, had no influence on the Catholic Church’s policy, which claims that while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”.
Meanhwile, some believe that Pope Francis’s comments mean that the head of Catholic church accepts the fact that some priests are homosexual, and that it is acceptable as long as they adhere to their vow of celibacy.
The new Pope had previously slightly criticized the Catholic Church’s past belief that homosexuality can lead to “tragedies” such as clergy sexually abusing children, a position which gay rights groups have condemned as deeply misled and homophobic, reports The Telegraph.
“At a stroke, Pope Francis has done an astounding thing, separating the issue of homosexuality from paedophilia,” said Nichi Vendola, one of Italy’s very few openly gay politicians.
Francis is famous for his honesty in the most free-ranging interviews of any pontiff in modern times. He had answer to all questions during a long press conference on board the special Alitalia plane.
When asked about claims that there is a powerful “gay lobby” within the Vatican, Pope Francis replied that any lobby was regarded as a problem for the Curia, the secretive governing body of the Holy See, whatever its character.
“I have not seen anyone at the Vatican who is registered as gay on his identity card. We acknowledge that there are (gays),” he said.
In the course of the interview the Pope also told the media that he believes that women should be given a bigger role in the Catholic Church but refused to consider their ordination, saying the “door is closed” on the topic.
The Vatican’s head also politely refused to change the Vatican’s opposition to gay marriage and abortion, saying “you know perfectly the position of the Church”.
Asked what it was like to have another pontiff, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, living in a few minutes’ walk from his residence, the Pope revealed that it was “like having a grandfather – a wise grandfather – living at home.”
“The last time there were two or three Popes, they didn’t talk among themselves and they fought over who was the true Pope!” he said, referring to historic schisms between Popes and their challengers.