7 steps by Pope Francis to a 21st century Catholic church – cleveland.com
Soon after becoming pontiff in 2013, Pope Francis expressed a more liberal stance on homosexuality than his predecessors, saying: “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
In an interview the following year, he expressed the possibility of the church accepting civil unions for gay couples, while reiterating the church’s teaching that marriage “is between a man and a woman.”
While Francis took heat from gay Catholics last year for meeting with Kim Davis – the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples – the Vatican issued a statement afterwards that said the meeting “should not be considered a form of support for her position.”
“I am glad that we are talking about ‘homosexual people’ because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity. And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.
“I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together. You can advise them to pray, show goodwill, show them the way, and accompany them along it.”