Did Pope Francis Say Homosexual Behavior Is OK?

Short Answer: No

Pope Francis made some impromptu remarks for reporters while returning from World Youth Day, and now headlines across the mainstream media blare that he made some kind of stunning reversal of Catholic teaching. Earlier in the same interview, he half-jokingly said, “I think like a Jesuit.” True to the stereotype of the Society of Jesus, Pope Francis has a very logical mind, so we must pay careful attention to his words. What did Pope Francis actually say (emphasis added)?

When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem…they’re our brothers.

Pope Francis speaks to reporters aboard his plane while returning to Rome from World Youth Day. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

Pope Francis speaks to reporters aboard his plane while returning to Rome from World Youth Day. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

First of all, the supposedly provocative line begins with the word, “if,” and it’s a BIG IF. Most homosexuals do not accept Jesus’ teachings on chastity. Salvation comes from Jesus. Sin is a rejection of salvation. Adultery is a sin. Sex outside of marriage is adultery. The divine sacrament of marriage requires that one man and one woman vow their mutual love, fidelity, and openness to life publicly and before God. Therefore, homosexual sex is a rejection of Jesus. QED.

Some people with homosexual tendencies choose to accept the salvation of our Lord and maintain a life of chastity. This is the key to what Pope Francis is saying: people with homosexual desires who are able to exhibit this level of self-control should be welcomed as our brothers and given encouragement in their struggle. This is a very beautiful statement. However, it does not say anything about people who give in to carnal desires and live promiscuously—whether gay or straight.

Pope Francis does hint at this though. He says that the tendency to homosexuality is “not the problem,” which is to imply that there is a problem. There may not be an official “gay lobby” in the Holy See, but there is definitely a gay lobby in secular political life and it is viciously opposed to the Catholic Church. People who campaign for same-sex marriage or who objectify the human body do not have goodwill for us. We do not need to judge them because their actions speak for themselves.

It’s unclear whether the ellipsis indicates that Pope Francis spoke about any of this at all. He didn’t need to though. If you take his words at face value, he made a very powerful statement which encapsulates all of Catholic teaching on sexuality and chastity in a very simple and profound observation. He said exactly what he meant to say and nothing more. Liberal advocates of same-sex marriage—especially in the press—make a grave error by misinterpreting his words to imply otherwise.


Categories:Breaking News Culture Marriage Media Pope Francis

  • http://whypriest.com WhyPriest?

    Want to take a glimpse into the future of the Church? Fr. Paul Stein, rector at St. Joseph Seminary in Chicago shares his commentary on Pope Francis’ recent comments and the comments from Cardinal George: http://whypriest.com/the-pope-the-cardinal-and-gays/

  • David Webb

    “Therefore, homosexual sex is a rejection of Jesus.”

    There is NO such thing as “homosexual sex.” By its very definition and biological function, “sex” is the procreative act from which new life is brought.

    Since homosexuals, (Google: aberrosexual) CANNOT procreate, any sexually intended act or behavior in rendered as merely a masturbatory act; which is to say, an act of carnal pleasure that is NOT reproductive and, therefore, NOT sexual!

    Mind your words!

    • Nuhir

      So barren couples who are biologically incapable of fertilisation are masturbating together?

      • David Webb

        That’s a typical and very FALSE argument made by the Left in defense of aberrant sexual practices. A man and a woman can IN PRINCIPLE always procreate. Period.

        That there are unfortunately “barren” couples has no influence over the scientific fact that sex is ALWAYS defined strictly as a procreative act — regardless of the exceptions between any man and woman IN PARTICULARS.

        Remember that we DO NOT understand the world through particulars, but rather through concepts of constant principles.

        • Steve

          Well, David, you are flat-0ut wrong — wrong — when you state, “A man and a woman can IN PRINCIPLE always procreate. Period.”

          If a woman has had a hysterectomy (as many women due out of medical necessity), she CANNOT conceive and bear a child. No way, no how. It’s biologically impossible. If wish to contest that fact, you will only demonstrate that you are ignorant of human biology and reproduction.

  • Pam

    You can no more judge the sin in the heart of a homosexual, than you can the heart of a heterosexual adulterer, those who abuse their spouses and children, those who drink and use drugs, or those who choose only to hold the church in their heart as long as the service last. All of these people are in every church., you might be surprised if you could see the truth in the hearts of those you worship with. Those who lead us in worship are sometimes just as sinful. We can either trust that people truly want Christ in their heart and He will lead them to change, or we start to mistrust all those in the church from top to bottom. God commanded that we love one another, not judge one another. “Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone.”


    The Pope’s words reflect what has always been the Catholic Church’s teaching. The Pope, nor anybody else can X-out the Words of the Bible, that homosexuality (practiced) is an abomination. It is a sin and the practicer sins. However, God forgives the Sinner, if the sinner asks God for forgiveness. That means that the sinner will try to sin no more. We are not judges of an individual; but we can judge acts as sins; as that is how we differentiate good from evil. Sin is always evil.

    • Alessio Ventura

      I think our blessed Pope lacked courage in his statement, leaving it up to all of us, the Catholic Lay people, to now battle the mis-interpretation that now surrounds this. It is now that openly gay people who are either married or wish to be married are saying, “You see, even the Pope supports our lifestyle, so why are you so adamantly against it.” That is why Pope Francis MUST come out and clarify his statements, so that we feel we are not fighting a lonely battle, which this gay marriage thing truly is.

      • Ron

        I think what the Pope said took not only courage but also a loving heart. Perhaps it’s time to lighten up. This Pope can save the Catholic Church if we let him and if we support him.

        • Alessio Ventura

          Courage by punting to his flock when asked a difficult question, now leaving it up to us to defend marriage and take all of the heat without support from the top! I have already had several people point the finger at me, saying, “see, even the Pope supports gay marriage”.

          The Catholic Church will save itself if it sticks to its’ own teachings,rather then punting on the difficult questions because of politics.

  • patrick cassidy

    I was a very active member of the gay lifestyle for over thirty years, before Our Lady of Medjigoria set me back on the straight and narrow. I love Pope Francis and admire his courage and Christian love for all people honestly seeking the Truth of the saviour. There is a Catholic group “Courage”, that offers support for all Catholic homosexuals seeking freedom from a lifestyle of sexual addiction that offers a way back into the Church to live in freedom, Peace of Heart, extreme Joy at finally living the Truth according to the gospel, sacraments, teachings of the Catholic Church with perserverance, courage and a deep longing for Christian love.

  • Franky

    To be baptised is to accept God as is to take part in the holy communion (accepting Jesus’ blood and flesh).
    Everyone is a sinner. Everyone who says he or she is clean from sin is lying to god. Jesus died for our sins.
    To accept God (ie. to believe in the holy spirit) is salvation.
    Homosexuality, whether practiced or not, doesn’t enter into that inner core of christianity. The bible isn’t some list or rules that have to be followed lest you lose the status of “God’s child”. It contains teachings and guidance that “God’s children” are to weigh carefully in their heart. Acceptance of Christ comes from the heart, not religious dogma. Ergo, practicing or not, a homosexual that holds Christ in his heart is God’s child and will go to heaven. Pope Francis’ words may indeed not be about Gay Marriage, but about accepting gays into our midst and our families. That they are not to be judged nor discriminated against is only logical (in this it is quite close to the recent Supreme Court ruling against DOMA).

    • Teresa

      No! This is not so. The act of homosexuality is clearly an abomination to the Lord!… Yes, they like anyone else can confess their sins, but with the intent to never sin again. Certainly we commit venial sins every day and should make ammends to God through confessionas soon as possible.To confess and go home and sleep with your same sex partner is a moral sin and is unacceptable, and the absolution you just received becomes null and void because of your intent from the start. Anyone who dies with mortal sins on their soul is in danger of the loss of heaven!

    • http://www.doverbeach.blogspot.com Bob March

      Your moral theology is a bit weak, Franky. Holy Scripture is indeed chock-full of God’s commands. They are there not to trap us so He can condemn us, but to help us know HOW to express love for Him in our lives. Jesus didn’t say, “If you love me, ‘weigh my commandments carefully in your hearts'”, to use your formulation. He said, “If you love me, KEEP my commandments.” Whatever our sexual orientation, there is one and the same rule: chastity. That means fidelity within Holy Matrimony (always and everywhere understood by the Church as the union of one man and one woman), or abstinence outside of matrimony. It’s simple. Either keep that command, or don’t, but don’t try to weasel out of it by redefining things.

      • Ron

        Redefining things is the nature of evolution. Jesus redefined the Old Testament. As an example, the Old Testament said that we should not work on Sunday. Jesus said otherwise. Jesus changed the nature of what it is to be human by redefining. If we, as humans didn’t redefine, we’d still be living in caves. The bottom line is that a lot of the Old Testament is simply wrong. Stick with the New Testament.

        • Mary B.

          The idea that the New Testament replaces the Old Testament is a heresy known as Marcionism. The New Testament is a continuation of the Old Testament. Plus St. Paul, in the New Testament, spoke quite clearly about homosexuality being a vice. I have friends who are gay, and I have a difficult time believing their lifestyle is considered sinful by the Church — but it is. So if I’m representing the Church I must be true to the Church’s teaching, not watering it down. It’s hard, but God never has said His way is easy.



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