Pope Francis is expanding on his 2013 remarks about gays.
In an interview with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, Pope Francis is asked how he might act as a confessor to a gay person just a few years after his “who am I to judge?” remarks made many hopeful that the Vatican is heading toward a softer stance on gays.
The reply appears in a new book called The Name of God is Mercy.
Here’s what he has to say:
“On that occasion I said this: If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person? I was paraphrasing by heart the Catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalized.”
“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.”
For every step forward like his original remarks, there is another step back, like his meeting with Kim Davis.
Doesn’t this sound very similar to the “love the sinner, hate the sin” line we’ve heard from evangelical Christians for years?