Pope Francis makes historic announcment during trip back to Vatican
12:51 PM, Jul 29, 2013
ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT (AP) -
Pope Francis is reaching out to gays, saying he won't judge priests for their sexual orientation, in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returns from his first foreign trip.
Francis says: ‘‘If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?''
His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, authored a document that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis is being much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
His remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil.