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

    Greenpeace Leak: US-EU Trade Deal Would Favor Corporations

    Activist group leaks classified documents to 'shine a light' on talks that could create the world's largest bilateral trade and investment pact

    Video Ethiopia's Drought Takes Toll on Children

    East African country’s crops failed in 2015, creating food shortages for 10 million – including 6 million children whose development may be compromised

    What Your First Name Reveals About Who You Vote For

    People named Chad are more likely to be Republicans and Jonathans are usually Democrats

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Meredith from: Oroville, Calif. USA.
    July 29, 2013 11:10 AM

    My heart goes out to you. As I read the first line to your news report for reaching out to our gay's in the Catholic Church but, dear Lord what are you thinking now with the stipulations of women in the Ministries. I have been an ordained Minister for 6 years now I have taught across the country the Bible and it's studies. What an insult that you feel women should not be allowed to Preach shame on you. Our Lord wants only to send out the message of Love and Faith into the hearts of everyone no matter who it comes from. I am a voice of My Father and in God I trust that you can also change your mind to this. I am Meredith Javier Minister
    In Response

    by: The Beast
    July 29, 2013 10:00 PM
    You believe a man thing in the sky controls all of us and has the ability to change anything it wants whenever it wants and we should bow down before this invisible man made force while doing everything a book written by man 1,700 years ago to the Tee.

    Exactly who is crazy here...I feel sorry for you and everyone you try and push your garbage on!
    In Response

    by: DavidPun from: Baltimore
    July 29, 2013 9:04 PM
    I'm no expert. Where did he say women could not preach? He didn't. He said they could not be priests.

    by: asf from: afa
    July 29, 2013 10:56 AM
    Don't get the NO WOMEN stance. It's not 1400 anymore church. Do you really think God is like "Yeah, I like men better. Women are lesser."
    In Response

    by: readbetweenthelines from: london
    July 29, 2013 10:02 PM
    i think the point is that this pope is, in fact, a very open minded, liberal man but he is working within the confines of a staunchly opinionated, politicised and arcane institution. by way of comparison, it is a similar situation to what barack obama is in at the moment...i think both are doing well under the circumstances.
    In Response

    by: SC from: Canada
    July 29, 2013 9:28 PM
    Look for a new god/religion...this one's broken.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora