- The Washington Times - Monday, July 29, 2013

Pope Francis said on Monday that he would not issue judgments against homosexual priests — a stance that run counters to his predecessor’s more blunt assessment that men with gay tendencies should not have priesthood doors opened for them.

The current pontiff made the remarks during an airplane news conference in his flight back from Brazil. He also emphasized that Catholic teachings require gays to be given dignity, The Associated Press reported.

“If someone is gay, and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Pope Francis said, AP reported. He also said that the Catholic Church mandates that those who sin and seek confession are to be granted forgiveness.

“We don’t have the right to not forget,” he said in the AP report.

In 2005, the previous Pope Benedict XVI signed a Catholic Church document that said those with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not enter the priesthood.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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