Many observers insist that gestures of modesty and compassion cannot alter basic beliefs. But Francis has said, “I would not speak about ‘absolute’ truths, even for believers.”
The current Pope is the first to say something remotely compassionate when it comes to homosexuality. He may not have said everything you want to hear, but his statements have a huge impact to his followers. The fact that he uttered the slightest bit of tolerance instead of all negative is a step in the right direction. Yeah, maybe its baby steps, but at least its facing down the right road. No one else can come close to influencing the minds of the devout Catholic followers than the Pope. So the fact that he said something that just might offer even the slightest bit of change in the way his followers think, makes him an important contributor this past year.
“We have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel,” Pope Francis said in an interview. “The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,’ Francis said. “The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”
“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.”
The comments on gays and lesbians follow up on remarks Francis made aboard the papal airplane in July when asked about gay priests. “Who am I to judge?” the pope then said, in a quote that made international front-page headlines. In Thursday’s interview, Francis clarified that those comments were about all gay people and not only priests.