Pope Francis has been gaining the approval people across the globe in recent weeks over his unorthodox approach to promoting grass-roots ministry in the church, including visiting the prisons and favelas, aka ghettos, of Rio de Janeiro during his recent trip to Brazil for World Youth Day. Now, Pope Francis is shocking the world again as he recently claimed that he and other Catholics have no right to judge gay people.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Pope Francis made the statements while fielding questions from reporters on his plane ride back to Rome. During the interviews, Pope Francis was asked about his stance on clerics who are gay, though not sexually active. In a surprising twist, Pope Francis broke from the Roman Catholic Church’s typically homophobic mind-set and preached the idea of reconciling the church’s old mind-set on sexuality with the growing changes of the world.
“Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” said the pontiff. “You can’t marginalize these people.”
Since 1986, the Vatican has defined homosexuality as an “objective disorder,” and in 2005 2005 Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, formally barred men with what the Vatican deemed “deep-seated” homosexuality from entering the priesthood.
And although Pope Francis reaffirmed the church’s school of thought that homosexual acts are a sin, he stressed that the gay community should not be mistreated or marginalized and that all sin is forgiven and forgotten by God when confessed.
“We don’t have the right to not forget,” he said.
This is certainly a progressive move for the Vatican, and considering the countless anti-gay attacks that have spiked in majority-Catholic countries like France, a move toward ending homophobia by the Roman Catholic Church can certainly help to curb the oppression and violence that LGBT individuals around the globe endure over religious persecution and marginalization.
Check out some other famous figures who are calling for an end to homophobia below. –nicholas robinson