In Brief

Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests

Pope Francis
Pope Francis during a meeting in Rome with President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina, March 18, 2013. (Image credit: Presidency of the Republic of Argentina/Creative Commons)

Gay priests shouldn't be judged for their orientation, Pope Francis said during an airplane journey from Brazil to the Vatican.

That comment indicated the new pope would be open to priests who are gay, but not sexually active. The statement marks a departure from the position of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote in a 2005 document that men with a "deep-seated" homosexual orientation shouldn't be priests.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Pope Francis said in a news conference, AP reported. "You can't marginalize these people." Still, the remarks don't change the position of the Catholic Church, which holds that homosexual acts are gravely disordered.

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Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.