In what the Associated Press is calling a “remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference” aboard the papal airplane leaving in Rio de Janeiro en route to the Vatican, Pope Francis indicated that gay priests should be accepted into the Catholic Church and their sins “forgotten.”
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said.
This position is quite a change from the Church’s previous doctrine, authored by Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict, that those with “deep rooted homosexual tendencies” should not be allowed into the Church.
This announcement also comes amidst persistent rumors of a scandal within the Vatican involving gay priests and blackmail, one that the pontiff himself referred to in a off-the-record moment in June when he referenced a “gay lobby.”
Once again, these are all things you missed if you skipped the trip to Rio and got time off purgatory by following the Pope’s visit on Twitter.
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