Where the pope stands on gays: A quick primer

Pope Francis

Pope Francis AP

VATICAN CITY — As he visits Cuba and the United States, Pope Francis is expected to raise issues ranging from climate change to income inequality. He’s also launched an agenda of reform in the Vatican and in the global church, prioritizing different issues and counseling a more merciful message.

Here’s a quick rundown on where he currently stands on LGBTQ issues:

Francis famously uttered “Who am I to judge?” when asked in 2013 about a Vatican monsignor who purportedly had a gay lover in his past. Many took the comment to be a sweeping new opening by the church toward gays, as Francis has urged the church to be less judgmental and more merciful in welcoming saints and sinners alike.

However, asked about his position on homosexuality later, Francis stressed that when he said “Who am I to judge” he was merely repeating church teaching, and he responded with a question of his own: “When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person.”

While he’s met on several occasions with gays and even counseled a transgender couple, Francis hasn’t changed official church teaching that while gays should be treated with dignity and respect, homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

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