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

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs