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July 29th, 2013
08:48 AM ET

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

By John L. Allen Jr. and Hada Messia, CNN

Aboard the Papal Airplane (CNN) - Pope Francis said Monday that he will not "judge" gays and lesbians, including gay priests, signaling a shift from his predecessor and offering another sign that the new pope is committed to changing the church's approach to historically marginalized groups.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said in a wide-ranging news conference aboard the papal plane.

Though he was answering a question about the so-called "gay lobby" at the Vatican, the pope indicated a change in tone, if not in teaching, in the church's stance towards gays and lesbians more generally.

The pope was flying back to Rome from Brazil, where he spent the past week celebrating World Youth Day, an international Catholic event that drew millions.

Taking questions from reporters aboard the plane, the pope addressed nearly every hot-button issue facing the Roman Catholic Church: its alleged "gay lobby," Vatican bank corruption, the role of women, abortion, homosexuality and his own personal security.

But it was the pope's remarks on homosexuality - the fact that the head of a 1 billion-member church said that it's not his place to judge gays - that caused the widest stir.

"Pope Francis's brief comment on gays reveals great mercy," said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at America, a Catholic magazine based in New York.

"Today Pope Francis has, once again, lived out the Gospel message of compassion for everyone," Martin said.

The pontiff spoke  for an hour and a half in the back of the plane that was carrying him back to Italy after his first international trip as pope to Brazil, where he was greeted by massive, frenzied crowds at every turn.

"I'm happy. It has been a beautiful trip, spiritually speaking; it has been good to me. I'm tired enough but with a heart full of joy," he said.

Here are the highlights from his press conference.

On the 'gay lobby' and homosexuality

The pope addressed the issue of an alleged "gay lobby" within the church. Hints that the Holy See contained a network of gay clergy surfaced last year in reports about a series of embarrassing leaks to Italian journalists.

The "Vatileaks" scandal factored in Benedict's shocking decision to resign this year, according to some church experts, as it impressed upon the 86-year-old pontiff that the modern papacy requires a vigorous and watchful presence.

"There's a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I've never seen it on the Vatican ID card!" Francis said.

"When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

The problem, he said was, lobbies that work against the interest of the church.

In 2005, during the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican issued directives barring from the priesthood men "who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called 'gay culture.'"

Francis' brief remarks seem to signal a sharp shift from that policy.

On women

The pope also spoke out about the role of women in the church, saying it needs to be deeper and not end. But he brushed aside the possibility of ordaining women as priests, saying the church had spoken on the matter: "The church says no. That door is closed." He did say that more work needed to be done theologically on the role of women in the church.

On abortion

Pope watchers have noted that Francis said little to nothing about abortion on his trip to Brazil. Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except for cases in which the health of the mother is at risk. Laws were recently changed to allow abortions in cases in which the child would be born with certain life-threatening birth defects.

The pope said he had nothing to say on the trip about abortion because the church teachings against it were clear and this trip was the time for "positive" news.

On divorce

"I believe this is a time of mercy, a change of epoch," the pope said when asked about divorce. He said the group of eight cardinals tasked with reform will explore the issue of whether divorcees can receive Communion, which they are currently barred from doing.

On the Vatican Bank

The pope conceded he was unsure what to do with the Vatican Bank, which is known by its acronym IOR.

"Some say that it would be better if it were a bank, others say that it should be a foundation. Other say to shut it down. These are the suggestions going around. I don't know. I trust the commission's members that are working on the IOR. But I wouldn't be able to tell you how this story is going to end."

And as for what was in the black leather bag he carried onto the plane? A razor, a prayer book, a diary and a book about St. Theresa, but, the pope joked, "Certainly not the keys to the atomic bomb!"

He said he carried his own bags because, "It's normal, we have to be normal. We have to be accustomed to being normal."

CNN's Eric Marrapodi and Daniel Burke contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Brazil • Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (3,302 Responses)
  1. Dougals

    New Respect. I'm not Catholic, but still, respect.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • mustardseedhead

      God is not a respecter of persons – why are you? For eternal life, follow the teaching of the bible – not the verbal opinions of a man. For doing so makes you a respecter, which is a dangerous position to be in – particularly if he changes his mind tomorrow – or even in a few minutes. Then what? Follow the bible for eternal life. The pope does not make things "right" just because he doesn't say they are wrong.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • Damia Savon

        The Pope's remark had nothing to do with morality. He just said it is not his place to judge which is true. Whether someone enters Heaven or Hell is up to God, not you, the pope or any mortal.

        People are reading way, way, way too much into his remark.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  2. stevie68a

    To quote Laura Nyro from her song "Stoney End": "I was raised on the good book jesus, 'till I read between the lines".
    Also, a quote from Barnum: "You can fool most of the people most of the time, but you can't fool all of the people, all
    of the time".
    Religion wears a cloak of "love", to hide the hate.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • JulioFranco

      Quoting an old rock song isn't the most influential thing one can do. Another portion of that song goes "cradle me, momma cradle me again" which is a cry for a return to her childhood and the guiding ways of the church after losing her way in life.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  3. Jakes_Momma

    As a no Catholic looking in, I like this man. His spirit seems so much different than that of prior popes. Hope he is able to bring the church into the here and now rather than being stuck in the 1700's.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Damia Savon

      Not really, he is just putting a better spin on the same old thing than his predecessor. Nothing at all has changed.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  4. Super Catholic

    Argentino dejenerado

    July 29, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  5. 2L

    Voice of reason – the pope is a good man!! Tha Vatican made a wise choice!!

    July 29, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  6. HelloMouse

    Amazing how many comments on her know god's word even better than the Pope himself!

    July 29, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  7. Victor

    Finally, a pope with a good heart. Take us away from wordly politics and back to God. God bless you Papa.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Yon

      Wow. What a cool wotld, where you can call a book from God good that says such behavior is an abomination, say you belueve said book and say "who am I to judge"? Lying about what you believe is common. People make me sick. I don't care what you believe, but if you say one thing and do another, then you are worthless.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:29 am |
      • Brian

        Last I checked, the Pope has the ultimate authority in the catholic church on the interpretations of the Bible. He's not saying he supports gay people. He's say that it's not his place to judge them, that authority is left to God.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • John

      God and the BIble say that being gay is bad. So the Pope is going directly against the Bible. I don't care if people are gay either but if you believe what is written in that book, then you should be anti-gay.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • Victor

        "Being gay is bad" isn't the only thing in the Bible, is it?

        Love thy neighbor, help the needy......

        July 29, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • Owl96

        Show me any place in the Bible where is says that celebate gays are bad. There is nothing wrong with being gay, just as there is nothing wrong with being straight. What you do is a different matter.

        July 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • Damia Savon

        Except the Pope did not say anything regarding whether or not "gay" is "bad" in that remark. The Pope merely said he, as a person, would not judge. That is exactly what it says in the Bible. God does the judging.

        So many people are happy or upset over a remark that has nothing at all to do with what they think it does.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • mustardseedhead

      Only God knows the heart. He may just have a good agenda.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Victor

        A good heart and a "good agenda" are not mutually exclusive. Love thy neighbor, mercy, forgiveness, helping the needy, if that is his agenda.....I'm all for it.

        July 29, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • LIB

      I agree Victor. People are always lamenting about the a "good ole days" but the good ole days were when people had morals and respect for other human beings. It was also a day when we had prayer in schools just as we have in the government. If it's good for the government then it is good for schools. For those who don't want to be included in prayer, sit down and not be included. this law needs to be changed. What happened to our freedom of religion?

      July 29, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Pat P

        There haven't ever really been any "good ole days", each time period presents its own unique challenges. (and by the way, if they were "good ole days", why would anyone lament them?) You cite things you see as positive from our past, someone else could equally plausibly point out the negative from the same time period. Similarly, your argument about the so-called "freedom of religion" (which of course was really the Founding Fathers wise attempt to prevent the government from establishing an official religion) could be interpreted differently. Instead of 'If you don't want to participate in government sponsered prayer, sit down.", it can just as easily be, "If you want to worship in your own way, go ahead- but the government will neither support or prevent it- becasue it's not part of what the govenrment does." It fascinates me when I hear poiticians who are supposed proponents of smaller government, call for the government to expand its reach into our spiritual lives. How much bigger can government get than that?

        July 29, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • deb

          Finally someone who gets it. No one is telling religious people that they can't pray or practice their beliefs. The extreme religious right continue to want to impose their beliefs on the rest of society. If people want to pray in school they are welcome to say a silent prayer. No one will care one way or the other. Back when I was a kid people had their many different religions, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc., etc., etc., but didn't talk about them with strangers or other people outside of their own religious groups. We need to go back to not talking religion. All it does it cause fights, hate and misunderstanding. Our parents were right – don't talk religion or politics because you are never going to change their minds. We had more respect back then and tolerance for others. The anonymity of the internet has changed all that. People are just rude and obnoxious when no one knows who they are.

          July 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • Damia Savon

        You and everyone else can sit quietly and pray if you want to. Why do you need to say it out loud? Do you think God cannot hear you otherwise? Is there a particular reason you only want your prayers said out loud?

        You assume that the majority of people are of your faith. If that was not the case, would you like being told to just sit there? Personally I would love Christians who go on and on about prayer in schools be forced to sit quietly while the majority conducted non-Christian prayer. Exactly how would that make you feel?

        July 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  8. thepopehas spoken

    On a unrelated note you are allowed to taste shellfish broth, but your not allowed to SWALLOW !

    July 29, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  9. Ryan

    So a priest buggers his partner then goes to church to preach about the sin of fornication. Does anyone else see the problem? Better get the altar boys out of the Catholic church!

    July 29, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Observer

      Skip the hypocrisy. You certainly don't believe or support everything in the Bible. Just pick-and-choose.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:26 am |
      • Ryan

        Um...That is exactly what I was pointing out....pick and choose.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:28 am |
        • Frank

          Ryan stand firm in the faith if you are a believer. We live in perilous times. The great apostasy is about to occur, when men will reject the true God because they like to sin and desire the praise of men. They rejected Jesus when he walked the earth, they will also reject His true disciples.

          July 29, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • Ryan

        Quotes from the Bible, Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" Leviticus 18:19-22 "19Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness. 20Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her. 21And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. 22Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. 23Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion."

        July 29, 2013 at 9:39 am |
        • Ryan

          More Quotes: Romans 1:18-24

          "18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

          24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

          July 29, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Terik Ororke

          Just what Jesus say about judging others and will happen to those who do so? Or are you biblically selective and really in trouble?

          July 30, 2013 at 9:05 am |
      • Kay

        Every single person who reads and believes in the Bible...even if they believe in its .inerrancy...has to pick-and-choose because it's impossible to believe that everything is true.

        Sure, you can rationalize all you want. (Or call it "interpreting.) But you pick and choose just as much as anyone else does.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:47 am |
        • Ryan

          True believers don't pick and choose what to believe. If God's Word says it, then that settles the arguement. Who am I to disagree with God?

          July 29, 2013 at 9:50 am |
        • Jeff

          You would not disagreeing with God, Ryan. You would be disagreeing with the self-serving individuals who claim to have correctly interpreted God's word when they crafted, over many hundreds of years and through their own lens, the various passages that now comprise "the Bible."

          July 29, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • dswe

          I'm going to call Fr. Hubbly and ask him the meaning of life.

          July 29, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Jordan

          I agree Kay. Ryan: Okay, you believe in it all you say....then which creation story is correct? Since Genesis has two creation stories within the first few pages, and they have contradictions: In one, the animals are created before Man. In the second, Man is created before the animals. So right there, they can't BOTH be right. One of them is wrong. (well, in this case, both of them are wrong, and can only be viewed as the Word of God when viewed as a metaphor, since we KNOW that the earth wasn't formed this way, but I digress).

          And if you believe in it all, do you still condone slavery? Do you forgoe all mixed fabric clothing? Do you make sure you don't eat your meat with any blood at all in it (you order all meat well done), etc....

          July 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • derrick

          jordan you clearly havent actually studied the bible. you are basically wrong in everything you said. there are not two creation stories in genisis. there is one. And we don't 'know' that everything came about another way. In fact the theory of evolution is so completely retarded that i can not possibly imagine how you could believe it and call yourself a logical being. Also part of the law from the old testament does not apply anymore. It was clearly stated that what God has made clean do not call it unclean so the food thing isnt even an issue. you just blabber the nothingness that you think you know about the bible in order to make it sound silly but really you sound uneducated to anyone who has ever read the bible.. also this is called straw man you are misrepresenting the bible in order to disprove it even though it is probably not on purpose cause i truly think that you just dont know any better.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Owl96

      The Pope was addressing the ministry to members of the Church. He said nothing about accepting certain behaviors. You may have assumed to much.

      July 29, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  10. Edward

    Francis is not behaving like a Pope at all. He is behaving like Jesus Christ.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Ryan

      I agree, he thinks he is Jesus Christ....just look at the people oogling over him and mobbing him as if he were greater than Christ Himself...where are the people mobbing the Church on Sunday to commune with Christ?

      July 29, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • Kay

        Perhaps they've finally figured out that they don't need to go to some particular place at some particular time on some particular day to "commune with Christ"?

        July 29, 2013 at 9:36 am |
        • Ryan

          Yes, they'd rather flock to see a man dressed in a white robe waiving a golden staff.

          July 29, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • Esi

        Ryan, Happy to see your conviction in God..but the sabbath is on Saturday and not Sunday..It is God's law too! Matthew 5:18

        July 29, 2013 at 10:35 am |
      • conrad

        There is nothing wrong in admiring someone who demonstrates the fruits of their spiritual development. He is simply there to inspire, to remind us that we are all capable of higher spiritual attainment. It doesn't mean he's a golden calf. Keep it in perpsective.

        July 29, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Gazork

          Hey Conrad, you sound stable. That is more than can be said for most of the responders.

          July 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Damia Savon

        Perhaps your church has strayed too far along the path of hate and intolerance for righteous people to attend.

        July 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • Ryan

        The moment we start receiving the praise of man is the moment we need to correct those doing it and put off the white robe, put on street clothes and go out and preach away from attention.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Hugh Vincelette

        This is a man of compassion & humility; unlike the vast majority of Christians & their leaders. And, I'm not at all religious. Where on earth do you get the idea that he thinks he is Jesus Christ? You're not thinking of David Koresh, or Pat Robertson; are you?

        August 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  11. Larry in 'Bama

    Seems like the Catholics finally have a leader who's more interested in helping people than in merely aggrandizing money and power. He's got a long way to go, and the church will probably die out before he and his successors are done, but maybe his efforts will actually help reduce the tensions that cause religions to heap so much pain on the world.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Judy

      You nor any of your descendants will see the end of the Catholic Church.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • tallulah13

        You may be right. Look at hinduism. It's been around far longer than the judeo-christian tradition, but over 13% of the world's population still follow it. I think the numbers of catholics will dwindle, but there will be a certain population that will persist.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • Mike

          Absolute nonsense. People have been worshipping God and knew of the coming of Christ since Adam & Eve.

          July 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  12. KEVIN

    This guy likes to stick his kneck out. Gotta like him

    July 29, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Darko

      He's a politician, nothing more. If religious folk weren't losing ground he would never be saying these things.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:43 am |
      • RandyKnowsBest

        Darco,

        Watch out, I saw the black helicopters heading your way. Your Aluminum foil hat must be slipping off!! Hurry block the CIA satellites from reading your mind!!!

        July 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  13. Ryan

    It would be like letting a drunkard teach Sunday School. Teachers are supposed to be men full of faith, not men found in open violation of God's law.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Anon

      Dennis Rader (the nortorious BTK serial killer) was a man so full of faith that he was elected the president of his lay congregation in a garden variety church in Park City, Kansas, I'm sure that before his arrest everyone in the congregation would swear up and down that no finer disciple of Christ ever walked the earth.

      July 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • BE

      The last man of faith had an affair with my wife for a 1 year. She left me and my kids and the church (Lutheran, not Catholic if that makes any difference) moved him to another church.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • Ryan

        That is sad to hear...My heart goes out to you for the deceit you suffered through.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • Ryan

        That is yet another reason we need to know the Bible, and not put our faith in men, but put our faith in Jesus. The man and your wife will receive the reward God has waiting for them for continuing to live in sin....that is what makes Romans 6 so relevant to this conversation. We cannot have people who openly practicing sin in the position of teaching others. When we give our lives to Christ, we must put sin to death, and consider ourselves dead to sin. The true sheep follow Christ until the end.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  14. Balthazaar

    Finally, a Pope moving the Cathiolic church into the 20th century......huge progress.

    And his refocus on the message of Jesus and spcial justice instead of the message of rove and non scripturally based conservative political hot buttons is a real welcome. perhaps we can see the American church become more like the church that gave us JFK, and a lot less like the one that spewed out frothy santorum and paul ryan.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • martin

      i don't know is that was a typo but it's accurate. The Church is trying to move into the 20th century. Moving into the 21ast will take more time.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Jonah

      Not really. This is the same man who called "gay marriage" the work of Satan.

      July 29, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  15. Clarke

    What a good, good soul this man has. May God bless him!

    July 29, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Rev.Christie Bliss Ley

      He certainly does.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  16. Observer

    Wow! Could this be a more liberal pope that is trying to get the Catholic church closer to the 21st century?

    July 29, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Jonah

      Doubtful.

      July 29, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  17. Bob

    Uh, pope, because it violates scripture?

    July 29, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      So does eating shellfish.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • Mark

        Nope. Dietary laws were abolished in Acts Chapter 10.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Only to New Testament hippies. Old school Abrahamists will still massacre shellfish eaters.

          July 29, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • BE

          So God made a mistake?. Shellfish was unclean, but now it is OK. So God made a mistake when he said there is only one God, but then Jesus came along. In that thought, when Jesus said" love thy neighbor like thy self" he abolished the anti gay thing.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • chronickelly

      Many contemporary behaviour violates "scripture". That's because cultural and societal ideals change and mature over time. The bible is a historical spiritual guide book written and re-edited numerous times over the centuries and nothing more. It is not the word of god. Obviously the Pope recognizes the hypocrisy and ill effects of people who think that just because they follow the bible, they also have the right to judge another human. That their view is the ONE. And it's not.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • hriverajr

        Very well said!!! People often take things literally when they should not. Anyone with common sense should be able to see the bible for what it is, a teaching tool, rules to live by, but not pure dictation.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • conrad

      He wasn't condoning it. He was merely remarking on his own role in the matter ... it's not his place to judge. He's advocating compassion. See that the sinner is more than the sin.

      July 29, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  18. WVLady65

    Obviously the Pope has NOT read the Bible.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Shamma Lammadingdong

      No, he just interprets it in a less hateful and exclusionary way.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Observer

      Nobody believes every word of the Bible. They just pick-and-choose. It looks like the Pope may be choosing the Golden Rule.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Obviously. It's clear that he's wearing more than one type of fabric, for example.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Bobby

      Clearly, otherwise he would owns slaves and would have killed a child for dishonoring their parents.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • GBinSC

      I think you may be misunderstanding the comment. The Pope did not condone gays, but he realizes God is the judge, not man. I prefer to hope the Pope prays for the misguided as I believe Christ would. As Chistians we are judges we are to be prayerful of others. Let he who is without blaim cast the first stone...

      July 29, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • GBinSC

        Sorry, I meant we are not judges.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:30 am |
      • Jonah

        You are correct. The pope believes gays will go to hell, but he's saying that's God's judgment. After all, this is the same man who, as cardinal, called gay marriage the work of Satan.

        July 29, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • chronickelly

      Those who follow the bible do not have the right to judge. That's what he is saying. Just because someone is Catholic or Christian does not give them the right to judge others.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • catie

      the bible is a fairy tale – it absolutely astonishes me how many people believe in it – at the very least, if you chose to believe, follow the guidelines that make us better and compassionate, not alienating others and spreading hatred. Religion is the root of all evil.

      July 29, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • Esi

        if Bible s fantasy, it means you do very poor research..

        July 29, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • Denis

        Catie, its not clear to me why you'd even care what the pope says if you state that the bible is a fairy tale. If the bible is a fairy tale, then the entirety of the Christian faith is not only useless, but its a complete waste of your time to even be reading and commenting about it. If its a fairy tale, than Christians are no more grounded than Raelians.

        The essence of it is that its the work of people struggling to find God, but having their sins conflict with that goal, and later finding redemption from their sin. Not because of their efforts for the most part, but by grace. With all its quirks, like the shellfish prohibition, its an epic that generations to come will take to heart and see their own shortcomings and evil inclinations exposed as they seek the truth of our Creator and our Saviour.

        July 30, 2013 at 2:43 am |
  19. Ryan

    Wow, the Catholic church is falling off the moral cliff on this one.....Supposed men of God in the role of teacher in direct violation of God's Word....dangerous for the church.....not in man's sense, but dangerous because of the open defiance of God's Word.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • HenryB

      Oh, spare me.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • Shamma Lammadingdong

        Sad isn't it that people like this exist in this day and age.

        July 29, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • Ryan

          People like what? People that believe the Word of God means what it says?

          July 29, 2013 at 9:32 am |
        • tallulah13

          People who get their morals from a 2000 year old book written by men with a relatively primitive understanding of the world around them are scary. People who still cling to phrases like "word of god", despite the fact that there isn't a shred of evidence that any one of the thousands of gods humans have worshiped even exist, are scary.

          July 29, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Owl96

      Where were the Pope's remarks falling off the moral cliff? He addressed aspects of the ministry of the Church to certain groups. He never said he accepted any behaviors that the Church has taught as sinful. I read nothing that changed the Church beliefs or teachings. Pope Francis addressed the Church's minsitry to gays. He never said anything about overlooking behavior. He addressed the ministry to devorced members of the Church. He did not say anything about those divorced and remarried outside of the Church. Lets wait for additional information before we panic.

      July 29, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • conrad

      Not really. Look at his comment more carefully. All he's saying is that it's not his role to judge and that the proper response to all our brothers and sisters is compassion. That is in fact core christian teaching. He's strengthening the teachings if anything.

      July 29, 2013 at 11:42 am |
      • aokwithme

        i could not agree more. Pope Paul VI was less vocal about it, but said the same thing in so many words. This new Pope is the best thing that has ever happened to the Catholic Church. Relax. There won't be any rainbow flags at the vatican.

        I can hardly believe the Cardinals made such a wise choice. Putting the emphasis on the poor where it belongs, and away from all that vatican gold and glitter is so refreshing. Gold prices dropped by 2 percent when they found out a Jesuit would be in charge.

        July 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  20. Scott

    Those "a-hat conservatives" don't all judge...we are just sick and tired of being told we have to accpet the choices of the gays. I don't care if you want to sleep with a farmer's billygoat, that's your business...stop trying to legislate your business into my acceptance. Walking down the street inappropriately attired and calling it "pride" will not go far to change the minds of those you seek to influence.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Judge

      What do you call it, then, when you are "sick and tired" of others who are in a loving relationship that you don't approve of? How is that not judging them?

      July 29, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      People like you give conservatism a bad name.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • conrad

      Seeing as you are not the only member of society, not the king, and that there is in fact equal space for all to exist ... I don't think any law requires your 'acceptance of other people's choices'. They have a right to their choices regardless of your agreement. What I'm saying is ... it's not all about you.

      July 29, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • aokwithme

      I am gay, and I agree with you. I would rather not involve legislation, not trying to make anyone go along with anything. I don't need your approval or anyone elses. I don't know why so many gay people think they do, but there are many that don't. You guys see the vocal ones. The majority of us don't care about gay marriage, cakes, florists etc. We don't hate you, we are not trying to convert you or your kids or anyone. Most of us do not have an agenda that includes you, congress, or the church. Most of us lead normal lives. Work, sleep, live. Not bars, not drugs. We dont care what the church or the wedding cake people think of us, we just don't.

      July 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • Damia Savon

        So you are cool with laws that discriminate against you and treat you less than equal compared to other members of society just because of your orientation?

        July 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.