Pope Francis I is taking a much softer line with gays in the clergy than his predecessor, the notoriously anti-gay Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. In a news conference while returning from his first foreign trip, Francis asked, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Not God, obviously. Or that vindictive Vatican queen Benedict.
Though Benedict and Francis wholeheartedly agree on banning the gays from marriage, Francis at least is willing to throw open his luxuriously-robed arms to welcome them into the flock. Benedict, pre-emeritus days, had vehemently objected to the gays becoming priests, but Francis is willing to forgive and forget the sin thing.
Perhaps Francis is just tired of fighting the Vatican’s gay lobby, the existence of which he himself confirmed last month. Eh, if you can’t beat ’em, might as well begrudgingly have ’em join you.
Make no mistake, though, His Holiness is not dying his vestments rainbow anytime soon — though how stunning would that be? — but he’s slowly trying to make the church a less intolerant place. To wit, Francis also spoke out in favor of the “theology of women in the church.” That doesn’t mean the church will do something crazy like accept women priests or reverse its position on abortion, but Francis is at least willing to concede that “Mary is more important than the apostles.”
You heard ’em, Marys, get your hails on.