News / Europe

Pope Reaches Out to Gays

Pope Francis answers reporters questions during a news conference aboard the papal flight on the journey back from Brazil, July 29, 2013.
Pope Francis answers reporters questions during a news conference aboard the papal flight on the journey back from Brazil, July 29, 2013.
VOA News
Pope Francis says gay people should be integrated into society, not marginalized, but that the Roman Catholic Church stands by its teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.

The pope, flying home from a visit to Brazil, also told reporters on his plane that the "door is closed" on the issue of ordaining women priests.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" the pontiff said during a news conference that lasted nearly an hour and a half.

He said the church still considers homosexual acts to be sinful, but that gays should not be marginalized because of their orientation.

Rather, he said, they should be "integrated into society." However, he deplored "lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem."

The pope said women should have a greater role in the Roman Catholic church, but said the Vatican remains firm in its opposition to ordaining women as priests.

He said Pope John Paul rejected the ordination of women "with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed."

Pope Francis ended his trip to Brazil with a Mass on the world famous Copacabana beach.
An estimated three million people gathered for Sunday's oceanfront service to mark the end of the Catholic Church's World Youth Day festivities.

The Argentine-born pope urged Catholics to go to the "fringes of society" to help those most in need and spread the message of the Catholic faith.

The Mass, which included Bible readings and a concert, had a festival-like atmosphere with Pope Francis receiving an enthusiastic welcome from people waving flags, singing and dancing.

The service was attended by presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Christina Kirchner of Argentina and Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Pope Francis met later Sunday with Latin American bishops before leaving for Rome, urging them on in their work.

"Many of you came as disciples to this pilgrimage, I have no doubts that all of you now will leave as missionaries."

During his weeklong trip Brazil, the pontiff reached out to the poor himself with a visit to one of Rio's notorious slums, or favelas.

The pope announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in Krakow Poland, the home of the late Pope John Paul II.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Darijo from: Bih
July 31, 2013 12:23 PM
Practical religions is needing slow adaptations in 21-st century, and this pope is relatively adapted for this period when informations are traveling in incredible massive amount, very often defeating secret services. We are in times when relatively cheap, massive and efficient methodes and technologies are accessible for lot of humans. High responsibility (twilight of gods), specially inside of government (public pharaoh malison, like in ancient Egypt).

by: Kathy from: San diego
July 29, 2013 11:44 PM
I love this Pope!
Yes, to his position on gay men and the priesthood.

by: catharina from: usa
July 29, 2013 11:33 PM
Seeking more souls for the church? seems to me it is a little late people have opened their eyes are no cattle like in the old days more informed as well.... a little late

by: David
July 29, 2013 11:11 PM
I'm not Catholic, nor am I gay; however, reading this article on the new Pope gives me a good feeling. Looking at his photo, he seems good. I get that "Okay, all is well" vibe. I hope, wish, and pray for all the peace, best wishes, and happiness for the new Pope, for Catholics, and for people all over the world.

by: V from: hyd
July 29, 2013 10:32 PM
clearly the reilgion is not based teachings of God then.. it is moderated by one person- the pope. Decisions are based on popularity - not truth
In Response

by: WorcesterMANative
July 31, 2013 12:38 PM
I presume you're referring to the bible that was written by heterosexual men in a patriarchal society and which was intended to keep it that way?

by: thatguy from: perth
July 29, 2013 10:01 PM
Religion has no place interfering with the sexual preferences of other people, it is damaging to societies and encourages others to discriminate and judge others in a negative way. That_straight_guy
In Response

by: WorcesterMANative
July 31, 2013 3:07 PM
Amen! Religion has no place in politics or in a civil government, especially in one that is supposed to represent all citizens and to serve all citizens. Those who want a theocracy should move to some country run by the Taliban.

by: Anonymous
July 29, 2013 9:39 PM
It doesn't make any difference what the Pope thinks or say about gays , and it doesn't make any difference eighter if politians and the public opinion is in favour of same sex marriages. It's what God says that counts at the end.Back in the day of Moses God split the red sea in two to allow Moses and his people to cross to saftey from Pharoes army . Anyone would have thought that such an awsome act by God would have changed Pharoes mind about any further persute of the Isralites ,but that wasn't the case Phoroe army thought that they can go accross as well, and so they tried but the sea closed in on them and drowned them all.
Same sex marriages, and gays, if they don't turn back from Satans unatrual act they will all end up just like Pharoes army army when reality closes in on them, just like the red sea did to Pharoes army and drowned them all.

by: Dallas from: Portland
July 29, 2013 9:19 PM
"Gay people should be integrated into society"

Homosexuality is more ancient (older than) and natural to our species than Christianity.

Your religion needs to integrate into reality.
In Response

by: Drijo from: BiH
July 31, 2013 2:52 PM
Yes, Dallas from Portland, i am not gay, but i am agree with yours words, there is very strong evidences (or physical facts):

According anatomy (medicine), and according our own usual expirience,
rectal hole is very near of the sexual tool (order of just one inch),
not just for human, however animal anatomy, more than millions of years.

All authorities are avoiding open speaking about that fact.
Is that randomness, or God's fact ?
In Response

by: Anadama from: Nova Scotia
July 30, 2013 12:32 PM
Serial murder, pedophilia, child abuse, violence against women, addictive behaviours--all of these, and many more unproductive behaviour patterns have been "natural" to our species from the beginning of recorded time. Their lengthy presence as phenomena of human behaviour does NOT entitle those who experience them to demand that they be celebrated! Likewise, the presence of homosexual behaviours for thousands of years is no validation of the practice itself. These behaviour patterns are costly and detrimental to the optimal progress of any society. Rather than "integrating" them, a thoughtful society will expend its resources trying to find treatments or cures for them, while shielding those who suffer from them from negative treatment arising from ignorance of the disorder.

The Pope, I think, is acknowledging that, although sexual INCLINATION may not be controllable, sexual BEHAVIOUR is controllable. If this were not the case, then there would be no such thing as rape, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, etc. The "lobbies" to which the Pope refers have made it impossible to explore treatment for the homosexual behavior pattern--a psychiatrist who "treats" a patient for homosexual issues in the United States will have his or her license to practice revoked by the American Psychiatric Association. This is the same organization that "de-listed" homosexuality from its manual of psychiatric disorders, without conducting any research and only after the Committee that made those distinctions was taken over by a conspiratorial group of homosexual psychiatrists, whose sole, self-interested purpose was to accomplish that "de-listing".

The motive of the Roman Catholic Church in its policy is to attempt, in a genuine way, to apply the principles set out in the Bible, in a manner consistent with the teachings of Christ. Bearing in mind the tremendous damage done to hundreds or thousands of innocent children by homosexual priests over many years, it is appropriate for the Church to implement strict measures to try to reassure its members that its policies in choosing candidates for the priesthood will rigorously eliminate any future risk from predatory homosexual priests. I don't know that policy changes have gone far enough in that direction.

by: Ted Beland from: Portland, OR
July 29, 2013 9:00 PM
" church still considers homosexual acts to be sinful." How insane! If God created them how can their acts be sinful?

Is he saying God made a mistake?!!

by: SLong from: Nashua, NH
July 29, 2013 11:14 AM
Pope: "Gay priests? Well why not? Woman priests? You must be joking!". I think he's got it backwards...
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs