LGBT advocate: Pope’s comment “opens door for conversation”

From MSNBC’s “Jansing and Co.”

Kate Childs Graham of the National Catholic Reporter and Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry discuss comments made by Pope Francis on gays in Catholic Church and explain whether his comments will impact American churches.

Jansing: Gays and the Catholic church. Never before has such a positive halo surrounded these two historically at-odds groups. Pope Francis during an unexpected press conference during his flight back to Rome, was asked about the so called “gay lobby” inside the Vatican. He responded by saying “If a person is gay, and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?” The New York Times called his comments, “revolutionary.”  But New York’s Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, was careful to say it’s not a shift in the Church’s teachings… I’m joined now by Kate Childs-Graham, columnists for the Young Voices series at the National Catholic Reporter and a board member of the organization Call To Action, and Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of the New Ways Ministry. Thank you both for being here, I’ll start with you Francis. You know, Pope Benedict described homosexuality as “objectively disordered” and we have Pope John Paul II who described homosexual acts as “against natural law.” In language, Pope Francis certainly has made a shift here, but will that lead to a change in doctrine, or policy, or theology?

Francis: I think that what Pope Francis has done is open the door for a larger conversation about homosexuality in the Church and about the lives of gay and lesbian people. And that is a conversation we have waited a long time for. And I think that by setting the tone for that conversation, we are going to see some good advances in the future.

Jansing: What do you expect to see? What are those advances?

Francis: I think that we are going to see less harmful rhetoric about gay and lesbian people. We are not going to hear the words “evil” and “dangerous” as much. And I think we are going to start to see some discussion about the human rights and the human dignity of gay and lesbian people, which is something that we really want to see, that many Catholics in the US want to see.

MSNBC, July 30, 2013

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