Pope Francis: Who Am I To Judge Them?
A few words may have changed everything for Roman Catholics: in a Monday news conference aboard the Papal airplane, Pope Francis remarked he will not "judge" gays and lesbians - including gay priests - that statement has people talking: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
The Pontiff was responding to a question about the so-called "gay lobby" at the Vatican. His remarks came on a flight to Rome from Brazil, where he spent the past week celebrating World Youth Day. Jeff Stone of Dignity USA, the nation's oldest and largest organization of LGBT Catholics and allies, feels a tinge of hope.
Do the Pope's remarks have implications for Christias outside of Catholocism? Reverend Blake Rider is the Rector of Christ the Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie - he likes Francis' style. Rider suggests letting the dust kicked up by the media settle
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany responded to a request for comment by email in which Bishop Howard Hubbard states - quote - "Pope Francis’ assertion that men with a homosexual orientation who are not active sexually and willing to adopt a celibate life can be accepted as candidates for the priesthood clarifies what has been a disputed issue among bishops and seminary rectors."