'If a gay person seeks God, who am I to judge him?' says Francis

Pope

Pope Francis said that he would not judge gay people who are earnestly seeking God in a candid press conference on the flight home from Rio overnight. Speaking to members of the press during a flight back to Rome from Rio after WYD, Pope Francis responded to questions about the Vatican’s alleged gay lobby, by saying: 'If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?' reports The Catholic Herald.

According to reports, the Pope surprised journalists by taking questions from them for an hour and 20 minutes. He answered without notes and did not refuse to answer any of the questions. This impromtu press conference is in contrast to what the Pontiff told the accompanying media on the journey out to Rio de Janeiro; then, he had told reporters that he would not be doing any interviews.

During the press conference, Pope Francis reaffirmed that the Church was unable to ordain women priests, but emphasised women’s importance to the Faith.

'A Church without women would be like the apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important that the Apostles, and the Church herself is feminine, the spouse of Christ and a mother,' he said. 'We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more.'

Pope Francis told journalists that he is currently unsure of what the future holds for the Vatican bank, saying it could become an “ethical bank” or, possibly, be closed down.

'I don’t know yet how to fix the Institute for the Works of Religion [Vatican bank]. Some say it should be a sort of ethical bank, others that it should be an assistance fund, others want to close it altogether,' he said.

FULL COVERAGE

'If a gay person seeks God, who am I to judge him?' says Pope (Catholic Herald)

Pope answers questions about Curia reforms, gay lobby (CNS)

Pope in 80-minute Q & A: 'Who Am I to judge gay people?" (The Tablet)

Pope tells all on flight to Rome (Vatican Insider)

Pope on gay priests: "Who Am I to Judge?" (NYT/SMH)

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