Pope Francis Softens Stance Toward LGBT Community

By Chris Hoenig


Cardinal Timothy Dolan is backing Pope Francis’s comments about gay priests as a “change in tone or emphasis” toward the LGBT community.

In a nearly 90-minute news conference on his flight back from Brazil, the Pope spoke openly and directly about a subject the Catholic Church has long considered taboo and commonly ignored altogether. “If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them They shouldn’t be marginalized,” Pope Francis told reporters in Italian. “The tendency is not the problem. They’re our brothers.”

Appearing on CBS This Morning on Tuesday, the Archbishop of New York said the Pope was unequivocal in his statement. “He’s articulating well, in a beautifully tender way, the traditional teachings of the church, that while certain acts may be wrong, we would always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity,” Dolan said. “People are always saying, ‘Can we expect, now, changes in church teaching’ Of course, Pope Francis would be the first to say, ‘Well, my job isn’t to change church teaching, my job is to present it as clearly as possible.'”

“A person’s identity, respect, the dignity and love that he or she deserves, does not depend on anything—sexual orientation, how much money we’ve got, if we’ve got a green card or immigration papers, if we’ve got a stock portfolio. It doesn’t depend on anything other than the fact that we’re a child of God, made in his image.”

The Vatican was quick to point out that the Pope’s comments don’t apply only to gay priests, but also to the entire LGBT community. They mark a stark contrast from the hostile tone of Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who signed a document banning gay priests.

Community Welcomes Comments

The Pope’s comments are being welcomed by many in the LGBT community. Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Catholic organizations supporting LGBT people and their families, released a statement supporting the Pope’s “compassionate tone.”

“Pope Francis today uttered some of the most encouraging words a pontiff has ever spoken about gay and lesbian people. In doing so, he has set a great example for Catholics everywhere,” the statement read. “The Pope has rejected the harsh language of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for a compassionate approach and a pastoral tone. Lesbians and gays are no longer a ‘threat to civilization,’ rather they are people of faith and good will.”

Women Still Excluded

Even as Pope Francis opened the door to a better relationship with the LGBT community, however, he left another closed, saying the church will not have female priests anytime soon. While advocating for more leadership roles for women in other activities, the Pope said the ban on female priests is “definitive,” adding, “On the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and said no. John Paul II, in a definitive formulation, said that door is closed.”

Pope Francis did admit that the Catholic Church needs to better develop its understanding of women in the church, suggesting they could work in advanced administrative roles within the church.

Latest News

Abbott Launches the First Infant Formula in Canada with an Ingredient Identical in Structure to Immune Component Found in Breast Milk

Originally published on Abbott.com. Abbott ranked No. 8 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020. 2′-Fucosyllactose Oligosaccharide†(2′-FL†) is now available in Abbott’s infant formula, Similac Pro-Advance® HMOs, like 2′-FL, in breast milk help support a baby’s immune system [1] HMOs, like 2′-FL, feed good bacteria in the…

Cigna

Veterans Recovery Resources of Mobile Receives $100,000 Cigna Foundation Grant to Provide Mental Health Services to Area Veterans

Originally published on Cigna.com For the second year in a row, the Cigna Foundation will provide a $100,000 grant to Veterans Recovery Resources, a community-based, non-profit organization that offers professional clinical care and peer-based wellness programs to military service members, veterans, families, caregivers and survivors in southwest Alabama and surrounding areas. Building on the…

aging and infected human cells

Racism Can Trigger Premature Aging; Trump Administration Loses Battle With Women Detained for Speaking Spanish; and More

Two new studies highlight damaging impact of racism on cells and the body Racism not only increases stress levels in the body, but also causes the body to age faster according to the results of two alarming new studies. In the first, conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the…

thanksgiving, truth

The Truth You May Not Know About Thanksgiving

On Thursday, Nov. 26, many Native Americans and their allies across the country will observe the 51st National Day of Mourning. While most Americans will sit down to Thanksgiving dinners — albeit (hopefully) smaller ones than in years past due to COVID-19 — this counter-observance is designed as an ongoing…

President-elect Joe Biden

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Potential New Cabinet Filled With Historic Firsts; New Report Details the Top 10 Careers Most Impacted by COVID-19; and More

President-elect Biden continues his push for an administration that “looks like America.” With more than a month to go until he is even sworn in as the 46th president of the United States and his transition to the office finally underway after weeks of delay, President-elect Joe Biden is already…