This article first appeared in 2013 and we are publishing it in relation to current events. The US has legalized gay marriages and Pope Francis is expected to address the US Congress later in the year.
Pope Francis appeared to soften the Catholic Church’s stance on gays, saying that he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation, a marked departure from his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis asked in response to a question about homosexuality in a wide-ranging news conference after his first foreign trip as leader of the Catholic church.
Whereas his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests, Pope Francis was much more conciliatory. He said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.