In a move that signals softening of the Vatican rhetoric on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Pope Francis has spoken out about the “obsessive” focus of the Catholic church on abortion and LGBT issues.
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he said to Jesuit priest Fr. Antonio Spadaro, who conducted the interview for La Civilta Cattolica. “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
This holistic approach has annoyed some hardline conservative Catholics, including Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, R.I., who said he was “disappointed” because Pope Francis hadn’t spoken out about abortion or marriage for same-sex couples.
The Pope’s new statements come a few months after, when asked about gay priests, Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge?”
DignityUSA, an organization that represents LGBT Catholics, took his earlier comments as a step forward toward the respect for all members of the Catholic community.
We here at EQCA hope that the Pope’s shift toward tolerance and away from restrictive doctrine finds a way to Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone’s heart; Cordileone is an arch conservative and major proponent of both Prop. 8 and DOMA.