POPE Francis has made another headline, this time when the pontiff said, “Who am I to judge a gay person?”
While taking questions from reporters on the plane back to Rome, Francis spoke about gays and the reported “gay lobby.” According to the Wall Street Journal, the Pope’s comments about homosexuality came in the context of a question about gay priests.
The pontiff broached the delicate question of how he would respond to learning that a cleric in his ranks was gay, though not sexually active. For decades, the Vatican has regarded homosexuality as a “disorder,” and Pope Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI formally barred men with what the Vatican deemed “deep-seated” homosexuality from entering the priesthood.
“Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” the pontiff said, speaking in Italian. “You can’t marginalize these people.”
Father James Martin, S.J. who is an admirer of Francis, said that the pontiff’s comment about gay people is consistent with the rest of his papacy.
“One of Francis’s hallmarks is an emphasis on mercy, which you see in that response. That mercy, of course, comes from Jesus. And we can never have too much of it.”