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Praise 104.1

Pope Francis has spoken openly about the issue of homosexuality on Monday, saying that he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation. “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” the pope said at an 80-minute news conference with reporters on his plane as he returned from his recent trip to Brazil. The pope’s remarks have been interpreted as a landmark act of conciliation, and although some media outlets have promoted his latest comments as a big shift in the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality, the pope distinguished between homosexual orientation and homosexual acts. The pontiff highlighted the Church’s universal Catechism, reaffirming that the Catholic Church’s biblical position remained that homosexual acts were sinful, but that homosexual orientation alone was not. Speaking candidly, the leader of the more than 1.2 billion members of the Catholic Church stressed that under those same teachings homosexuals should be treated with dignity and not be marginalized because of their sexual orientation. He said, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalized because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society.” The pontiff, however, condemned lobbying by homosexual activists, “The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem.” Pope Francis was also asked about local Italian media reports that suggested a group within the Catholic Church had tried to blackmail Church officials with evidence of their homosexual activities. Italian media had claimed earlier this year that the allegations had contributed to Pope Benedict’s decision to step down. In response, the pope, who allegedly admitted earlier this year in June that there was a “gay lobby” in the Vatican’s administration – the Roman Curia, again told reporters that homosexuals should be treated with dignity. However, he said that it was an entirely different thing to conspire to use private information to blackmail, and to exert pressure