Pope Francis, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil said: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?.” He was responding to reporter’s questions about the existence of “a gay lobby” in the Vatican.
This reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts are sinful but we must love the person.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well,” Pope Francis said in interview with Vatican journalists: “It says they should not be marginalized because of this but that they must be integrated into society.”
Pope Francis also said: “The problem is not having this orientation.”
“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” he said.
The Pope was on his first trip abroad as a pontiff, which had a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival. It is estimated that 3 million people were present.
His position on gays as been seen as less judgmental than his predecessors.
Pope Francis also spoke about a bigger role of women in the church, but when he talk about the ordination of them he said: “But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no… That door is closed.”
Talking about the trouble with the Vatican bank: “I don’t know what will become of the bank. Some say it is better that it’s a bank, others think it should be a charitable fund and others say close it,” he said.
About his simple lifestyle and the use of a small vehicle he said: “At this moment I believe God is asking us for more simplicity,” and “is not a good example when a priest had the latest model of a car or a top brand.”
He was questioned about a moment when his driver took a wrong turn and he was surrounded by crowds: “I don’t feel afraid,” he answered. “I know that no-one dies before their time.”
“I don’t want to see these people who have such a great heart from behind a glass box. The two security teams worked very well. But I know that I am undisciplined in that respect.”
He also spoke about the young protesters: “The young person is essentially a non-conformist, and this is very beautiful. It is necessary to listen to young people, give them places to express themselves and to be careful that they aren’t manipulated.”
Pope Francis’ views seem to be less judgmental and more open than the rest of the Roman Catholic Church. The road to clean up the bad image caused by the corruption within, including the acts of not just a few bad priests, have left on Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, however, is going to be long and difficult.
Written by Edgar Soto