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.

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Comments page of 2
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.
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