Pope Breaks Silence on Issues of Sexuality: We’re “All Good”…but Not Good Enough

Print Share on LinkedIn More


catwalker / Shutterstock.com

July 29, 2013; New York Times


Pope Francis, who has been wowing the crowds with his folksy style, has also apparently been distressing Catholic conservatives with his lack of public position-taking on issues of sexuality and reproductive rights. Then, today, he decided to break his relative silence with a shocking revelation made to members of the press on his plane ride back to the Vatican from Brazil, saying “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

The statement was made in relation to questions about a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican, and reports by Italian media that one of those he had appointed to investigate the Vatican Bank had been accused of having gay “trysts.” Francis said that type of lobby would indeed be an issue, but that the reports were groundless. Still, he said, he has nothing against gays and that their sins should be forgiven. Nothing he said would suggest he disagreed with Benedict XVI, who wrote in a Vatican document that men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” were not suited to the priesthood.

And while we are discussing who is unsuited for priesthood…he followed this up with statements about allowing a greater role for women in the Catholic Church, even though he reiterated that Pope John Paul II had definitively closed the door to female priests. Instead, he suggested a “deeper theology of women.” Sigh.—Ruth McCambridge

  • S. Walter

    Kudos for a much fairer and more accurate description of the Pope’s chat with reporters than most major media outlets provided. As a convert to Catholicism, however, I find it baffling for anyone to imagine that some day the Church will change her teaching on priestesses or on the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage. Nor can I imagine why anyone would want to join or remain in the Church if she has been wrong about these issues not just from St. Peter onward, but from at least Moses onward.

  • Anonymous

    The most interesting thing is that it is not simply a gender issue of inequality, it is a class issue. The ordained class (whether male or ever female) still wield the power of what is considered most central to life for Catholics -sacraments. Without ordination, there is no body and blood of christ in the eucharist, no confession and forgiveness. While lay people can baptize and marry -we’re not supposed to. So, there will always be the problems of clericalism and second class lay citizenship in this structure. Go figure.