BREAKING!!! Catholic Church Sets To Ordain First Gay Priest – Pope Francis Confirms

BREAKING!!! Catholic Church Sets To Ordain First Gay Priest - Pope Francis Confirms

For generations, homosexuality has largely been a taboo topic for the Vatican, ignored altogether or treated as “an intrinsic moral evil,” in the words of the previous pope.




In that context, brief remarks by Pope Francis suggesting that he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation, made aboard the papal airplane on the way back from his first foreign trip, to Brazil, resonated through the church. Never veering from church doctrine opposing homosexuality, Francis did strike a more compassionate tone than that of his predecessors, some of whom had largely avoided even saying the more colloquial “gay.”

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis told reporters, speaking in Italian but using the English word “gay.”

Francis’s words could not have been more different from those of Benedict XVI, who in 2005 wrote that homosexuality was “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and an “objective disorder.” The church document said men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not become priests.

Vatican experts were quick to point out that Francis was not suggesting that the priests or anyone else should act on their homosexual tendencies, which the church considers a sin. But the fact that he made such comments — and used the word “gay” — was nevertheless revolutionary, and likely to generate significant discussion in local dioceses, where bishops are divided over whether to accept priests who are gay but celibate.

“It’s not a great opening in terms of contents, but the fact that he talked about it that way is a great novelty,” said Paolo Rodari, a Vatican expert at the Italian daily La Repubblica. Francis would probably agree with Benedict’s writings on homosexuality, he added, “but it doesn’t interest him.”

“It interests him to say that the problem in the end isn’t if someone has this tendency, the important thing is to live in the light of God,” Mr. Rodari said. “Said by a pope, it’s enormous.”

Francis also told reporters that while Pope John Paul II had definitively closed the door to female priests, he sought a “theology of women” and a greater role for them in Catholic life, news reports said.

The pope’s comments on homosexuals and women in the church were yet another sign of the different directions from which Benedict and Francis approach doctrine. While Benedict, the shy theologian, focused more on ethics and advocated a purer church, even if it might end up being smaller, Francis was elected for his belief that the Catholic Church must engage in dialogue with the world — even with those it disagrees with — if it wants to stay vibrant and relevant.

“At a certain point, tone becomes substance if it’s seen as revitalizing the prospects of the church,” said John L. Allen, Jr., a Vatican expert at The National Catholic Reporter.

In Benedict’s more subdued 2007 visit to Brazil, where Evangelical churches are making rapid inroads in the Catholic majority, he delivered speeches to bishops about how to respond to postmodern society.

In contrast, Francis spoke on the beach, engaged with the masses and was greeted like a rock star by followers entranced by his approachable style and homespun folksy adages. (“You can always add more water to the beans,” he said at one point.)

More than a million people gathered for an open-air Mass on Copacabana Beach on Sunday. At one event, bishops danced on stage to upbeat music. The spectacle was clearly aimed at competing with Evangelical churches that have a more “pop” style.

“We can see the figure of Peter so near to us,” said Milena Rocha, 20, a Brazilian student who slept on the beach Saturday night along with thousands of others in a vigil before the pope’s final Mass on Sunday, comparing Francis to St. Peter.

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