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Pope Francis on hot-button issues
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. Rainer Braendlein

    Decay inside!

    It is well known that the Roman Catholic Church is a house of hypocrisy. There is much glamour outside but death and decay inside. Many Catholics daily commit the most heavy sins. For example look at the Mafiosi of Italy. During the work week they kill people regarding this as their legal profession, and at Sunday the go the mass. Catholicism doesn't lead people to true love and righteousness. It is just a delusional dream.

    The basic problem of the RCC is that the Holy Spirit has forsaken her for many centuries. The Spirit of God cannot dwell in a "Church" which has a human leader even a leader who is greedy for honor, power and riches. The history of the lifes of the popes is the most shameful at all.

    The pope claims too high a rank, a rank which is reserved for the Son of God only. Only the Son of God, Jesus Christ, can be head and leader of the Christian Church. When the pope stole Jesus office as head of the chruch, the church began to degenerate. She was once Christ's bride but has become a wh-ore meanwhile. She is wh-ores with the devil.

    As the popes have misled the RCC for many centuries, she is no a pis-spot of heresies. The most dangerous heresy of the RCC is the doctrine that Jesus is sacrificed every sunday again in form of the host. This can lead to the assumption that one could commit sins again and again because Jesus is sacrificed for him or her again and again.

    The RCC has desecrated the most holy ritual of the Christian Church: The Lord's Supper. Actually the Lord's Supper shall lead the believers to righteousness, even holiness. Through bread and wine they should ingest Jesus whereby bread and wine are not changed into Jesus through magic but bread and wine of the Lord's Supper are sacramental or sacral food. The sacrament bases on Jesus words: This is my body, and this is my blood, given FOR you. We remember that we have died and resurrected together with Jesus. On the basis of his death and resurrection we can overcome our sinfulness, and He is also the atonement for our sins. The Lord's Supper will reform us. We get strengthened through the Lord himself in a sacramental way. The Lord's Supper becomes effective only through faith: I believe that Jesus gave his body for me, and shed his blood for me. I have died together with him, and I have resurrected together with him. Jesus could not resist God's will even in the worst situation of infinite suffering, rejecting and death. Through the sacrament I become partaker of this infinite power of Jesus, the new man, the new Adam who always remains in God, the opposite of the old Adam (our natural ancestor) who always forsook God.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

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

      I see no difference between the Vatican's deception of the people and the people's deception of themselves in this context.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • mia

      Maybe you could edit that down to a couple of sentences & we might read it.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  2. i.am.an.eagle

    and yet for 30 yrs you've about hearing about "mercy" yet do not know what it means.

    July 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  3. mary

    The problem here is that many do not believe we actually have a "creator".. And even if we do.. They feel he has no right to tell anyone what they must or must not do..
    Sign of the times.. Even parents in today's world have no right to tell their children what to do..
    So conceding to the concept of a "creator" of it all.. Who has the last word over it all.. of course is going to go over like a lead balloon..
    NOt surprising at all.. Given the world today.
    Which is of course the biblical description of the world today~!!

    July 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • D

      The MythBusters made a lead balloon and it worked just fine. #JustSayin

      July 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • niknak

      Well then Mary, how about giving us some proof of a creator.
      We the non believers have been asking nicely for said proof for eons now, and you believers never seem to be able to provide any.
      Even though your various houses of myth go about their days paying zero taxes.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • ruffle

        first of all, everything you just said seethes with hatred. secondly, someone who claims to know something doesn't exist without any proof is just as bad as someone who claims to know that something does exist without any proof – maybe even worse.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • sam

          "seethes with hatred"? Wow, drama llama, is this the part where you come down with a case of the vapors?

          July 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • niknak

          Until a hypothesis is proven with facts, then it is considered false.

          But if you want to play that game, then prove to me that the tooth fairy does not exist.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          that was seething? really?

          July 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • QS

      Yep, those men who wrote the bible all those centuries ago were pretty clever – they knew that at some point in the future people would finally start to see through all the lies they had created in order to get people to be civil to one another, so they included in their little book a convenient prediction that one day people would stop believing as yet another means of control and indoctrination to keep people in line and believing in nonsense.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Many do not believe that there is a creator because there is no evidence that one exists.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • sam

      I know I'm going to hate myself for this, but – mary, why is it such a 'problem'?

      July 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    It is well known that the Roman Catholic Church is a house of hypocrisy. There is much glamour outside but death and decay inside. Many Catholics daily commit the most heavy sins. For example look at the Mafiosi of Italy. During the work week they kill people regarding this as their legal profession, and at Sunday the go the mass. Catholicism doesn't lead people to true love and righteousness. It is just a delusional dream.

    The basic problem of the RCC is that the Holy Spirit has forsaken her for many centuries. The Spirit of God cannot dwell in a "Church" which has a human leader even a leader who is greedy for honor, power and riches. The history of the lifes of the popes is the most shameful at all.

    The pope claims too high a rank, a rank which is reserved for the Son of God only. Only the Son of God, Jesus Christ, can be head and leader of the Christian Church. When the pope stole Jesus office as head of the chruch, the church began to degenerate. She was once Christ's bride but has become a wh-ore meanwhile. She is wh-ores with the devil.

    As the popes have misled the RCC for many centuries, she is no a pis-spot of heresies. The most dangerous heresy of the RCC is the doctrine that Jesus is sacrificed every sunday again in form of the host. This can lead to the assumption that one could commit sins again and again because Jesus is sacrificed for him or her again and again.

    The RCC has desecrated the most holy ritual of the Christian Church: The Lord's Supper. Actually the Lord's Supper shall lead the believers to righteousness, even holiness. Through bread and wine they should ingest Jesus whereby bread and wine are not changed into Jesus through magic but bread and wine of the Lord's Supper are sacramental or sacral food. The sacrament bases on Jesus words: This is my body, and this is my blood, given FOR you. We remember that we have died and resurrected together with Jesus. On the basis of his death and resurrection we can overcome our sinfulness, and He is also the atonement for our sins. The Lord's Supper will reform us. We get strengthened through the Lord himself in a sacramental way. The Lord's Supper becomes effective only through faith: I believe that Jesus gave his body for me, and shed his blood for me. I have died together with him, and I have resurrected together with him. Jesus could not resist God's will even in the worst situation of infinite suffering, rejecting and death. Through the sacrament I become partaker of this infinite power of Jesus, the new man, the new Adam who always remains in God, the opposite of the old Adam (our natural ancestor) who always forsook God.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    July 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • niknak

      Once again Rainer no brainer, too long, too boring....

      July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • mia

      Stop copying & pasting walls of text.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  5. psyrinn04

    He is not judging because only one higher power has that advantage to judge when the time arrives.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • niknak

      Please provide proof of that statement, or it is meaningless and only exists in your head.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • Really?

        Dude, stop being so judgmental. OH BUT YOU'RE DOING THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE POPE WANTS. But you're also doing what Christians want. Oh, you poor thing, your head will probably explode.

        July 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  6. I'm waiting for the cries of "NOT MY POPE!"

    I will feel pity for those who are angry, but then I will bring up that Benedict angered me many times and that I never spoke against him and never called him names. This man is the highest authority in the Catholic Church. If you have a problem with it, leave.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Authorituh

      Highest authoriity of a company that no one cares about. Who cares.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Carolina

        No, no one cares about. Only the millions of people that follow him.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • ronportsmouth

      Sorry fellow, he that does not practice or understand Christianity or ever read the teachings of Christ. If he had, he would know better.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • I'm waiting for the cries of "NOT MY POPE!"

        You're quite blasphemous.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  7. Angry Atheist

    Francis is just trying to get himself killed. He'd hardly be the first pope conveniently disposed of by church leaders who didn't like the way he was going.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • niknak

      Why are you angry?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • Angry Atheist

        Do a search for Greta Christina and why atheists are angry. That alludes to why many of us are angry.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Angry Marine

          Who really cares why you are angry?

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

          Why do you justify your own aggressive atheist outreach efforts and condemn the rights of religious people to express themselves? Why can't you keep your own beliefs to yourself like you tell others to do? You're the intolerant ones, and the atheist movement as it currently is is really a hate group since most of its efforts stand upon opposition to a belief system, and the primary motivation, as it is most commonly displayed, is hatred.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Angry Atheist

          Jarvis,

          I have never even once told someone to keep their beliefs to themselves. In fact, DON'T keep your beliefs to yourself. If you're right, you absolutely should share it.

          The problem is, you're wrong. Horribly, absolutely, and unequivicably wrong. Religion has caused more harm to human beings as a species than any other single force for harm in the history of the world.

          You accuse me of being part of a hate group, yet I'm not the one belonging to a group of people who bomb abortion clinics. You accuse me of being intolerant, yet I've never heard of an atheist disowning their gay son. I've never heard of an atheist standing outside an abortion clinic and condemning a mother of two for going inside to have a baby with a congenital heart defect with a 0.000001% chance of survival. I've never heard of an atheist killing someone simply because they believed something the atheist didn't. Before you say it, I'll stop you. I have heard of Stalin and Mao killing people, but they killed people because of politics, not religious beliefs.

          So no, I'm not the one telling you to keep your beliefs to yourself. I'm telling you that your beliefs are absolutely incorrect, that they are inherently harmful, and that for the good of the species, you should leave them behind in the bronze age where they belong.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Angry Atheist

          Idiot Marine,

          Apparently niknak did. You couldn't read the thread?

          July 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  8. UriNation

    I'm disappointed in the Pope's "Who am I go judge?" statement. I know he would not turn his head to murder, so why is he turning his head to a perverted lifestyle condemned in the Bible?

    July 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • LeRoy_Was_Here

      The Bible also condemns the eating of shellfish. Ever had clam chowder? You're going to HELL!!!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • mary

        Tiresome reading the same old cliche' arguments..
        You don't even understand the bible.. The old from the new testament and how we live under different rules and why.
        And how many of the things done then were mens rules. Condemned by God..
        You just don't know what you are talking about.. But you base your eternal life on it??

        July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • sam

          mary, you keep proving you know jack-all about the bible. Quit while you're behind.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Stevie49

          You live under different rules because your god is a moral relativist.

          Or because the book was written by a bunch of different men over long periods of time, no deity required. But you'd rather believe the illogical one. Good for you.

          July 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Hammerdown

          Funny.
          In another post by you, you said the OT meant nothing.
          Then you turn around and try to use it.
          You are just another idiot who cherry picks the bible.

          July 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Stevie49

      You mean the perversions of wearing poly-cotton blends? I know, he really should take a stand against that evil, since it so negatively affects the lives of so many others.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Manfred

      You said it! Next he'll be telling us it's ok to eat shellfish, or wear poly-cotton blend. The end is near people. Find Jesus!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        I didn't know he was missing. Or is this like a "Where's Waldo?"

        July 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • sam

          I'm not sure Jesus can pull off stripes as well as Waldo.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  9. HM8432

    I'd like to see an athiest draw a crowd of 3 million at once...oh wait, they have...when Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in power!

    July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Stevie49

      Hitler was a Catholic, genius.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
      • ReligionIsBS

        LOL. Why are christians so stupid?

        July 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Carolina

          Gee, I'm not sure why Christians are so stupid. They have no clue whatsoever about anything. Stupid as hell. Why don't you ask Georges Lamaitre why Christians are so stupid. You know Lamaitre right? He's the father of the Big Bang Theory, who Einstein gave a standing when he presented the theory to him and many other people at an auditorium back in 1927 . He was also the first to derive what is now known as Hubble's law and made the first estimation of what is now called the Hubble constant, which he published in 1927. No wait, maybe you should ask that question to Nicole Oresme, a bishop who discovered the curvature of light through atmospheric refraction. No wait wait, maybe you should ask Pierre Gassendi, who published the first work on the Transit of Mercury and corrected the geographical coordinates of the Mediterranean Sea. Oh wait, they're already dead. Look up scientists of our modern times who are Christians and also have contributed to science. Get it stupid??? Why are you so stupid? What have you done for humanity? What has your contribution been? I mean, since you don't belong to the stupid crowd, what have you taught humanity? S-T-U-P-I-D!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          July 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Carolina

          The universe just could not have originated in any possible way other than what the bible tells us. It just isn't possible and this is a fact. Therefore everything the bible tells us is true. So drop the clams, shun the gays, mate only in the correct position, tell yourself you have love and an old man named jesus in your heart, and POOF! that's it, you're done. Now live your 70 years in any maner you wish, kill as many animals as you wish even just for fun or sport is okay too since HE put them there for us to use, get fat, stay on your couch watching your box, mumble your fairy prayers and you are good to go girlfriend! you win! Trillions and trillions of years of beautiful afterlife in another dimension full of fun good times are now yours. YAY! (BIGGEST FOREHEAD SLAP EVER – what's not to believe)

          July 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Angry Atheist

          While we're at it, let's bring up Galileo shall we? Oh wait.

          Yeah, individual Christians have done a lot to advance the field of science. Imagine what they would have been capable of were it not for bronze age myth's holding them back, huh?

          July 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • Rachel

        Some people call themselves Catholic but are clearly not. Lets be fair here.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • D

          Ah, the good ol "No True Scottsman" argument. Gotta love it!

          July 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • Stevie49

          How convenient for you. Cherry picking your adherents just like you cherry pick bible verses. Sad, but typical.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • Carolina

        I think you know what he means. Whether he was raised Catholic or not, he sure didn't live according to Catholic teachings, so it's of little importance what religion he was baptized under.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          well he did live according to catholic teachings, but teachings from some time further back in history when they could kill non-believers with impunity.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • Angry Atheist

          Didn't live according to Catholic teachings? This must be some version of the Catholic Church I'm unfamiliar with. Some version that didn't start the Crusades... Some version that didn't torture heretics... Some version that didn't burn witches...

          Oh yeah, that's right, killing non-believers was never and will never be a prohibition of any of the three abrahamic religions.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • lifeproducer

        Hitler was BORN catholic, but wasn't a practicing catholic, nor did he support the church.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          His writings are full of references to god so he was still a believer even if you do want to deny his catholic faith.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • nickslime06

        You might want to research that a bit more....

        Historian Robert Soucy states Hitler believed Christian and Nazi beliefs were incompatible and intended to replace Christianity with a "racist form of warrior paganism".

        http://bit.ly/17PoXAQ

        July 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Stalin spent 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary.
      Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school.
      Hitler was educated in a Benedictine cloister – and was no friend to atheists.
      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942

      July 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • mike

        lol...going to catholic school does not make you a catholic. get a clue. btw, you forgot kim jong il.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • QS

          Being Catholic doesn't make you right...or moral.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          No, but it does expose one to the Vatican's tools of statecraft, honed through the millenia.
          Like religion, they demanded blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers. They tolerated no free-thinkers and enforced dogmatism.
          Their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones.
          Each of these leaders wielded their people’s predilection for faith like a weapon, re-directing it away from a God and onto their own cults of personality.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Angry Atheist

          Kim Jong Il claims to BE a god. That's nothing like being an atheist at all. That's more like being a cult leader.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • kent

      get your facts straight hm8432. it marginalizes you.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @HM8432 is either a troll or a particularly dim christian

      July 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • niknak

      And just like the religious coward you are HM, you run away after posting stuff that is false.
      Like your sky fairy, false as can be.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  10. A Jesus Representative

    It is time that the Catholic Church return all that gold to the rightful owners. All the gold and riches the Catholic Church has were stolen from the American Indians all across North and South America.
    It is time the church came clean and return all the gold and riches to the rightful owners and stop being greedy...

    July 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • A Jesus Representative

      Spain has the bulk of all the Gold taken from the Native Indians all across North to South America.. Return all of it back… Do the right thing and stop being greedy...

      July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Too_Late_They_Spent_It

        Good luck with that – the PIGS (portugal, italy, greece, spain) have nothing left to even give themselves – now intent upon sucking the life out of the European Union (which is destined to fail)

        July 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • kamic

      If we had to return everything we owed to everyone, most of us would end up naked.
      It's plain simple, in history eeryone took something from the other person.

      Then Africa would demand you to return to them all the slaves you took because that's their gold... The Question now is, what is your gold?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • mike

      as soon as you return your land to the indians, then i'll take you seriously.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • sly

      Ain't no such thing as stolen gold. Earth is round, every person has equal rights to every inch, and every ounce of gold they can find, or take from someone else.

      The is the way the world has worked for 50,000 years.

      That gold is the Church's, just like treasures belong to museums.

      And why 'feed the poor'? Why? So ignorant, uneducated humans can have 15 babies each and pollute and destroy our planet? I don't need 100 trillion humans – let evolution and survival of the fittest continue – it has for millions of years with no issues.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  11. LeRoy_Was_Here

    In the latest news, NASA has revealed that the Earth really does rotate on its axis and revolve around the Sun, just as Galileo said it did...........

    July 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      C'mon – be fair.
      It may have taken 300 or so years, but the Vatican finally did admit that maybe Copernicus had a point....

      July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  12. Johnny Triumph

    Who is he to judge??? He's the pope, the leader of the church. If HE can't stand up against evils and speak for goodness then who in the world will? The fact that he has taken this stance marginalizes the role of the Roman Catholic church in the world today and certainly can't play well in God's eyes.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • D

      Newsflash! Teh gay isn't evil!! Stop the presses!!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • Johnny Triumph

        Not evil? Scripture refutes your statement.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Johnny Triumph

          I suppose I must clarify for you, the person is not evil but the act is.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • leah

          'Scripture' makes a whole lot of statements that later are not held up.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • jwt

          Unless an individual chooses to follow some piece of scripture the scripture is meaningless.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Johnny Triumph

          The words of the prophets, scripture, is just as valid today as it ever was. It seems we're outsmarting ourselves, talking ourselves out of salvation.

          Hate and exclusion has no place in our society, but having a blind eye toward evil practices only leads us down the wrong paths.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Stevie49

          Scripture says to burn to the ground and kill all inhabitants of any towns or cities that contain atheists.

          Scripture is evil.

          July 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • D

          Lol, Bronze Age mythology? No thank you!

          Also, you do realize that there are more straight people participating in those "evil" acts than there are gays, right? Where are all the laws to restrict the rights of those straight people??

          July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Johnny Triumph

          @D – violation of God's laws will bring the judgements of God on us. This applies to anyone breaking a commandment, whether gay or straight. God will not tolerate sin, He CAN'T tolerate sin. If he did he would be a hypocrite and would cease to be God, which will not happen. This discussion is larger than gay or straight, it's about being an honest, forthright person. The pope lessens his importance as the leader of the church when he makes statements like these, that contradict God's teachings.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • jwt

          It is not a sin at all unless you are a believer in that particular version of religion/god.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Damocles

          @johnny

          Why are you so concerned? You obviously have your golden ticket to magicland. Are you so very worried that two guys having relations are going to put uncontrollable urges in you?

          'I must cling to my faith because it's the only thing keeping me from making a bee-line to the nearest gay bar'. C'mon.

          July 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • leah

      Let me get this straight. You are saying that gays are evil...and those that hate and exclude are good?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • sly

      That is excellant news Johnny.

      The more 'marginalized' this church is the more free thinking humans there will be in this world.

      Any religion that worries about what goes on legally between consenting adults in their own bedroom is one religion that will fail badly. No one likes Big Brother spying on them all the time.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Stevie49

      Traits based on genetics – BAD

      Hating traits based on genetics – GOOD

      Hitler and all of his blond-haired, blue-eyed minions would be so proud!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • LeRoy_Was_Here

      It certainly is wonderful that we have people who know exactly what God would think of any particular matter. Whatever would we do without such people to guide us?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Johnny Triumph

      God will not be mocked, He will stand firm to His standards and we'd do well to do the same. The wicked will be burned when Christ returns, not out of vengeance but out of necessity since no unclean thing can dwell with God much less endure his presence. We would do well to count ourselves with the righteous which sometimes means standing for what is right and not watering down truth and virtue.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • D

        Wow dude, you need to lay off on the Kool-aid drinking and start thinking a little critically.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • sly

        Johnny, Christ came back a few years ago, you know, a few years before Earth Ended.

        You did read how Earth Ended didn't you? Actually, it happened 2 or 3 times in the past 5 years, since y'all religious folks seemed to guess the wrong dates.

        Christ returned, then he went and died for our sins again. We're all cool now, and all of us get to go to heaven and boink all those gorgeous teen-age virgin chicks. (no, not immoral up there you know, no laws).

        July 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • sam

        If Jesus could see what kind of church has been put up in his name, he'd smite the hell out all of you.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • d

        Johnny, take breath. God can be mocked as much as he shouldn't be mocked. If he/she/it, is as all powerful as many us believe. Then only God truly knows what is in our thoughts, actions, personality, choices, hearts (basically. . . . everything). So in the end, none of us should judge each other to the point that we think we are Gods in our own right. On a side note, being God means being God at everything, from the monumental to the most mundane. Ex: Being a god at cleaning toilets, being a god on skipping rocks, being a god for answering telephone, being a god for have the best jokes and or the worst jokes. Take this into account for when god is being mocked for surely God can mock back.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Eric

      Being gay is not a choice. If it is alright to judge people then I deem you an idiot and banned from posting comments. This Pope seems to realize that societies thinking has changed as a whole and he is trying to bring the Catholic church along with it. I am not Catholic but he seems to be the right person to tackle issues like this using logical thinking.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  13. Fish

    I'm not catholic nor religious in any way but I like this Pope. He seems like an honest honorable fellow earnest in purpose and a man of the people. May his tenure be successful and rewarding!!!

    July 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Mike

    I'm no longer a practicing Catholic, but I like this guy. There may be hope for the Catholic church after all.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Come back to the mass Mike

      July 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  15. Brad

    He was referring specifically to gay clergy only, not all gay people. The news is making too big a deal about this. It's going to force an about-face

    July 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  16. shawn

    So the new Pope has kinda/sorta said he won't curse you into hell if you like licking sticks. As someone who doesn't get the whole stick-licking thing, I nonetheless don't care, and whatever you do is up to you.

    The church has nothing to do with right/wrong, nor does it have anything to do with anything higher than life.It maintains itself and destroys anyone in its path. Like business, and like politics. The difference is, the Church, be it Christian, Jewish or Muslim, will willingly destroy you if you don't believe hat they believe.

    I love Jesus and the Buddha, but they are both rolling in their graves today because stupid, money and power hungry humans put up a church in their name, after they died. I'd have loved to see what all you Christians would have done, had you chosen to resurrect a church in Christ's name while he was alive. He would have disowned you all.

    So the new Pope walked into the 1970s. Big deal.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Merrillee

      How many lesbians do you know that "lick sticks"?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • shawn

        Well, I'm 44, so multiply that by 0 lesbians in my life by year, and we get, uh, 0. Though I must admit such an experience would probably be fascinating.

        July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Damocles

        They have these devices that they can wear and..... ahhh nevermind.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Robert

      There ain't no body in Jezzus's grave Bubba! Or did you miss that part of their well thought out story?

      July 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  17. edward F

    To the moron from Brazil who wrote that brazilians are not latinos: Of course they are. So are french and italians to name two other peoples. Brazilians are simply not hispanolatinos.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  18. amanda

    ummm...this would be because he is obviously gay....look at him.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • niknak

      He is wearing a dress, Hmmmm

      July 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • OTOH

        niknak,

        So does Yoda.

        The 'dress' is the very least of the problems...

        July 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  19. Verimius

    "Who am I to judge?"

    A question we should ask ourselves often.

    July 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • curiousguy9992

      Oh, brother.

      We are other humans to judge. Without judgement, there is no ascertaining right or wrong, good or bad. Without judgement, injustice rules the earth – the downtrodden get stepped on, the helpless get screwed by the powerful, etc etc etc.

      Fair and balanced judgement is a good thing, drivel to the contrary notwithstanding.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  20. mary

    Those that are making your absurd arguments are arguing the old testament.. Its obsolete and for reference only..
    AS that was a time when all men were condemned to death , as Christ had not been born yet.To atone for sin.
    But then.. How could you know that?
    You don't know anything but certain passages , the cliche' ones you all come up with to argue with~!

    July 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • D

      Ah, so the 10 commandments are now only "reference material" and now laws? Gotcha!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Observer

      mary,

      "the old testament.. Its obsolete and for reference only.."

      lol. So the Ten Commandments are ONLY for reference.

      Get serious. Was it the SAME God in both testaments?

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

      Jesus made it clear he had not come to abolish the old law. I guess you never read the entire new testament?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Merrillee

      Where did Jesus say anything at all about gays or abortion, mary?

      July 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • niknak

      I think you may have missed the part in the NT where jeebus says one must obey all the stuff in the OT as well.
      see this for reference if you don't believe me, Matthew 5:18-19 RSV

      Must su ck when atheists call bull on your posts using your own book of magic spells.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Stevie49

      So god is a moral relativist – got it! Thanks!

      July 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
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About this blog

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.