ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT — Pope Francis reached out to gays, saying he won’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference Monday as he returned from his first foreign trip.Read the rest here.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis asked. “We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.”
Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men who had deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory in his first news conference as pope, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
The comments did not signal any change in church policy. Catholic teaching still holds that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” But they indicated a shift in tone under Francis’ young papacy and an emphasis on a church that is more inclusive and merciful rather than critical and disciplinary.
Emphasis mine. And the correct word is "doctrine" not "policy." All of which said this is certain to be seen as a retreat from the more traditional Catholic discipline regarding eligibility for Holy Orders recently reiterated by Benedict XVI. I suspect people are flipping out all over the blogosphere.