Pope avoids opposing gay priests

Pope Francis gets on board a plane at an air force base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 29, 2013.

The spiritual leader of Roman Catholic Christians, Pope Francis, has reportedly avoided opposing the priesthood of male homosexual individuals.

In remarks, seen as Å“clear[ing] the way for gay priests,” the Pope said, Å“If a person is gay, seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” adding, Å“They should not be marginalized.”

The pontiff made the remarks in response to a question during a flight back to Rome from a week-long visit to Brazil on Monday.

Despite his apparently conciliatory remarks about homosexual priests, the Pope insisted that Å“the door is closed” for women to become priests. He emphasized, however, that women should have a greater role within the church.

Pope Francisâ„¢ comments differ remarkably from the previous popes, including his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, who signed a document in 2005 ruling that men who had homosexual tendencies should not be allowed to become priests.

The Roman Catholic Church has been hit by numerous scandals in the United States and Europe over the past few years, involving allegations of covering up sexual abuse of children by priests to protect the pedophiles in the Church and the Churchâ„¢s own reputation.

CAH/HN/HJL

Republished from: Press TV