Pope Francis said Monday that he will not “judge” gays and lesbians – including gay priests.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said in a wide-ranging news conference aboard the papal plane.
Leaders in Chicago’s Catholic community say the tone of the comment is what’s important.
Chicago’s Cardinal George and others believe it is not what was said it’s how it was said. He thinks Pope Francis’s spin on a sensitive subject that may open doors for more dialogue down the road.
But will it prompt change to church doctrine? Likely not.
Cardinal George suggests there is nothing new the Pope announced on the subject, he just offered a sense of inclusion that hadn’t been heard and felt in such a way before.
Chicago’s Father Michael Phleger was also not afraid to applaud the Pope for taking an old topic and giving it a fresh spin. Phleger agrees, it was all in his tone.