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.

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207 thoughts on “Did Pope Francis Say Homosexual Behavior Is OK?

  1. Chuck says:

    You cannot be a born-again Christian and continue to be gay. While a person could truly accept Jesus as their Savior, they could not continue in sin and truly have believed. They must repent (turn from their sin) and be obedient to God’s word. Otherwise, one would have to examine if they really are born-again if they are going to continue in sin. God does not hate gays, He hates sin. As usual, it would appear that the Catholics are putting themselves “over” the Word instead of “under” the Word.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    RJ, as a gay Catholic, I can tell you its not a matter of choice anymore that someone deciding if they should be black, white, indian, etc. No one had to teach you to like the opposite sex, it came naturally, be a little more open minded for the sake of Christ, show Love and Mercy, get your hands dirty and really talk and listen to the millions of LGBT people. We are not all sexual monsters and I myself am in a relationship with one man, which is more than I can say for many of my straight friends. Jesus is about Love, not condemnation

    1. V says:

      Plain and Simple Period, Jesus Said, Turn Away from Your sins.
      God Is Merciful but He does not want us to continue to sin and living in sin. Just like when He told the woman when she was about to be stone, go and sin no more. God does not want us to judge others because we all sinners but at the same time, He does want us to turn away from our sins.

    2. V says:

      GOD wants us to turn away from our sins because He loves us and do not want us to perished. Just like when He told that woman who was about to be stone to go and sin no more. God do not want
      us to judge others but at the same time, He does want us to turn away from sins.

    3. Kathy Dule says:

      Jeffrey, sorry Jesus in his love and compassion doesn’t want you to enjoy all you call love and pleasure on earth and ultimately loose your soul by breaking one law of his, you either obey him totally or not at all , homosex is unnatural and SIN its in his word right. I would rather you accept your error and repent , we all sinned and asked Jesus to cleanse us of all evil by faith we acknowledge our sin and allow his grace to transform us gradually and completely , you too can if you believe you can change, let go saying that its a natural attraction to the same sex NO. its written he created them male and female for a purpose to Love and bring forth off springs so where does your version of affair with same sex come from SATAN. But there is hope bro. with God all things are possible Amen

      1. Bruce Caudill says:

        Kathy only the truth gay is a blessing from God almighty he made men and women in his image and his image is love if a Man loves another Man does that mean loves a sin?Believe in the father his trees and his message for he is love.

  3. Stefan says:

    Sex outside of marriage is fornication, not adultery. Committing the latter breaks a commandment, breaking the former merely a stricture of Leviticus.

    1 Cor. 5 deals with incest, not homosexuality, and the closest mention is “sexual depravity” but Paul never explicitly includes homosexuality as sexually depraved behavior.

    Gogo Jesuit education.

    1. David Cortes says:

      Stefan: You say “Paul never explicitly includes homosexuality as sexually depraved behavior.” Wrong. Paul is famous for regarding gay sex as serious sin that will bar a person from heaven. Did Corinthians say it was a “depravity”? No. But, in view of the above, so what? You also know the Church teaches that homosexual conduct is “intrinsically disordered.” Francis’s “Who am I to judge?” is therefore either an unwillingness to play God — an unwillingness to say how God will punish the sin — or a stupid comment to the effect that “Who is to say what a sin is?” A Jesuit would have said the former, probably not the latter (unless he were a “new” Jesuit, of which there are many, who don’t know their abs from their elbow).

    2. Matthew says:

      Paul does explicitly include homosexuality as sexually depraved behavior.

      “Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.” (Romans 1:24-27)

  4. Dr Asoka Ekanayaka says:

    The crux of the matter is why the so called spiritual descendent of Peter when asked, failed to reply unequivocally that practicing homosexuality is a sin that calls for repentence. How come that a man with the so called “very logical mind” leaves so much room for speculation and misinterpretation ? Paul was explicit in 1 Cor.5: 9-10 that practicing homosexuality is a sin that can keep you from entering the kingdom of God. Paul spoke plainly and the world executed him. Popes speak in ambiguous riddles and become the darlings of the secular world and its media !

  5. Josh Ashman says:

    @Sandy,the Pope here did not in any way uphold the erroneous practice of gays but only made a very powerful statement, as quoted by the press. Jesus in his teachings warn us not to judge. Why did u think that Jesus did not condemn the “adulterous” woman in the Gospel of Matthew outrightly? Of course the Pharisees who brought her knew the answer to the question for which they sought to trap him with. This is the scenerio at hand. So be wise and don’t judge what ever is already bad or unacceptable. Salem!

  6. sandy says:

    When people of god like a pope start to change the likings of the bible you should be very wary. Always go by the old bible teachings because the new teachings are changed. Never trust completely a mortal man even a pope with what they are saying. Check your bible.

    1. chuck says:

      Oh so if we are sticking with the old ways of the bible then I guess we have some women who need be stoned to death.

    2. Steve says:

      Sandy — where in the Bible does Jesus say anything about gay people being sinners? And what about this to marinate on: he surrounded himself with 12 other… men. Let’s put that in a contemporary context: if a man today surrounds himself with 12 other guys all the time and they are all following him around wherever he goes and he doesn’t have a girlfriend — what are YOU (yes, search deep inside that heart of yours) going to say about this ‘man’?

      I admire Pope Francis because he is a LOGICAL leader and not a FANATICAL one. Do you follow the Bible just because that was your upbringing? I’m so sorry you have such a limited view of the world. I really do feel sorry for you.

      I guess I am blessed. Because I have had the privilege of living in other parts of the world and experiencing different cultures. Can you imagine — entire nations who don’t even know who ‘Jesus’ is? Yet they’ve lived on this earth for as long as we have.

      Pope Francis has travelled the world more than you, me, or the next person has. His knowledge and understanding are beyond yours or mine. I would let him speak and educate us on things that are beyond our own comprehension — yes mine included — at least I am able to acknowledge the fact.

      1. Islandgirlshirl says:

        Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications…these defile a man” (Matthew 15:19). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia; where the word “pornography” comes from. We cannot say, “But I was born this way,” because we were all born to lie, cheat, lust, and deceive, but this doesn’t make it right…it makes us sinful and in need of a Savior.

      2. David Cortes says:

        Your comment is illogical. So WHAT if, in this depraved aged, 12 men following Jeusus around would be thought to be homosexual. Jesus did not live in our time. He lived in a time when the 12 apostles would not have raised an eye-brow, because it would never have been assumed hat they were all gay. As for you, Steve, do you you assume that Jesus and all the 12 apostles were gay? No. So what’s the point, other than to show how far we’ve come (to our discredit) since Jesus’ time?

      3. David Cortes says:

        Islandgirl:
        I have only one little picky point to disagree with you about. When Jesus said, ““Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications…these defile a man,” he did npt “imply anything. He said it directly and expressly.

    3. Fergie says:

      So, if we are supposed to “always” go by the old bible teachings that means that by also condemning homosexuality (provided that’s what was originally intended by that passage of purity laws) you also by default must condemn those who cut their hair, eat shellfish, wearing two different types of fabric, a woman must always listen to her husband etc.

      Also, why should you be wary of popes who actually try to view bible passages from a different POV? Wasn’t not too long ago that the bible was used to condemn people who didn’t have a pale/white complexion? Mind you, the bible was used to justify segregation. Don’t you think the popes that followed and chose not to use the bible to pointlessly condemn a whole people were correct to not do such?

      There are many LGBT people out there and many people who use the bible to implicitly and explicitly condemn this community say that it is a choice. If it’s a choice, why don’t you try to become attracted to the opposite sex? Maybe you haven’t given it a good try? You just haven’t found the right person of the same sex. Furthermore, if it was a choice, all of this reparative and conversion therapy would have worked by now and not be discredited by every psychological and psychiatric association.

      When the pope or a governing body seems to align with a person’s comfort zone, they are okay with it. However the second that same person “shakes it up” and questions an unwarranted condemnation, those same people start to question his morals and trust (ex Pope’s infallibility). So it’s not so much doctrine as much as a person’s comfort zone and how they perceive the world. The second that view is somehow changed they cling to that which is comfortable.

      Examine the many translations of the bible. The true original words that have been translated many times. Yes even from English to English to fit today’s vernacular. Do you think there are the exact same words for each in every language? That a translators biases, ideals, and subjectivity didn’t find a way into that translation?

      In addition to this long post, are you truly going to listen to priests, nuns etc who have taken vows of chastity and nonmarriage secondary to a law created by the Vatican because they didn’t know what to do with a clergies family inheritance upon death. Could it be a little possible that these clergy members have been so deprived of romantic and sexual relationship that it causes that sexual misconduct? We are all humans after all with emotions, sensations, thoughts and desires that can be warped when not developed in a safe manner (and not be denied or warped).

      Just my two cents. Take care and God bless.

      1. R.J. says:

        PLEASE!! Just remember only one thing…….”When God created man, He then created a woman to be with Adam”…….if nothing else, that, should surfice anyone with any NORMALITY!!! One Man & one woman………NOT, woman with woman, or, Man with Man!!!
        That’s enough for me and for over a billion people!! Anyone who does NOT understand that is either in “Denial,”or, just plain, Refuses to accept the truth to justify their own sexual preferences!!!!!!!

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