The new Pope takes an accepting stance toward homosexuality, asking ‘Who am I to judge?’
In an interview with Rev. Antonio Spadaro, released by Jesuit magazines on Thursday, Pope Francis expressed an accepting view of homosexuality, expanding on the controversial comments he made in July of this year. Pope Francis sat down with Spadaro, the editor of the Civilta Cattolica, and answered questions submitted by Jesuits around the globe.
In his interview Pope Francis was openly critically of the Catholic Church, claiming that it is necessary for the church to “find a new balance”. The Pope expressed specific criticism toward those Catholics resistant to change and acceptance. “Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists-they have a static and inward-directed view of things,” the Pope stated, continuing, “In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.”
This new Pope has become known for bluntly addressing certain controversial issues. In July, Pope Francis proved he was not afraid to ruffle the feathers of more traditional Catholics when he famously commented on homosexuality. “If someone is gay and he searches for the lord and has good will then who am I to judge?” the Pope stated in a news conference. He went on to say, “They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”
In his most recent interview Pope Francis expanded on his previous comments regarding homosexuality. While the Pope holds to church doctrine he continues to advocate compassion, mercy and acceptance in regard to homosexuals within the church, projecting a more blatantly humanist view of the controversial topic. During the interview the Pope asked, “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. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.”
These accepting comments have come as a surprise in light of the Catholic Church’s general disapproval of homosexuality and the disdainful comments of the previous pope who described homosexuality as, “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and an “objective disorder.”
Pope Francis has proposed a more humble approach to the judgment of others, claiming that religious leaders must leave room for God. This humility was illustrated when Spadaro asked the Pope to describe himself. Pope Francis replied, “I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”
The “new balance” Pope Francis seeks for the Catholic Church appears to be centered around the needs of the people. In his interview he stated, “The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.” While these comments will surely meet criticism, they come as a great comfort to many Catholics eager for change.