Pope Francis won’t judge gays, admits not all saints at Vatican, opposes women priests

July 29, 2013

(Pope Francis talks with journalists as he flies back to Rome after his visit to Brazil July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Luca Zennaro/Pool)

Pope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society, in some of the most conciliatory remarks by a pontiff on the issue of homosexuality. In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a week-long visit to Brazil on Sunday night, he also said he could not judge gay priests, an emotive topic that divides Catholic opinion. But the 76-year-old Argentine did reaffirm Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.

Francis also stressed the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administration and pastoral activities. And he expressed pain over scandals at the Vatican bank during a remarkably forthright press conference, his first since being elected in March to replace Benedict XVI.

His forthright tone and readiness to field so many questions underlined Francis’ desire to do things differently. He has eschewed many trappings of the papacy, championed the poor and tackled some of the biggest scandals facing the Church head-on.

Francis said there were saints in the Holy See but also “those who are not very saintly”.

The airborne encounter with journalists covered issues as varied as the pope’s insistence on low-key security to his desire to unlock the shackles of the Vatican to go for walks. For more, see UPDATE 3-Pope says gays should not be marginalised | Reuters.

Our Vatican correspondent Philip Pullella and staffers in Brazil covered the pope’s visit — here’s a selection of their stories:

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I like what the pope said about not judgeing GAYS and i just hope his being honest and truthful with his words. For once some one in the vatican is real and human it’s funny when the rest claim to be saints when there not. I grew up cathloic and I’m proud to say that I’m not anymore. Throu out the years of my like i grown to understand what religion is all about. And for me religion does not EXIST. It’s between GOD AND ME. I don’t follow MAN i follow GOD. LOts of people are brainwash from “so called religions” the saddest part they listen becasue they don’t know how to think for them selfs. Some one has to do the thinking for them. GOD never judged when he was on this earth. MAN has destroyed and mistranslated the word of GOD to their own benifed and power with money along the way. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME NOT THE SO CALLED VATICAN. The last pope never did anything about the abuse that was going on. I wouldn’t call him a saint and never did anything about it. He should have gone to jail.

Posted by cjmona81 | Report as abusive