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"Who am I to judge gay people", says Pope

Published:Monday | July 29, 2013 | 1:14 PM

Pope Francis reached out to gays, saying he won't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference Monday as he returned from his first foreign trip.



Pope Francis asked, "if someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge".



He added that "we shouldn't marginalise people for this and must be integrated into society".



Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict 16th signed a document in 2005 that said men who had deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests.



According to the Associated Press, Francis was much more conciliatory in his first news conference as pope, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.



The comments did not signal any change in church policy.



Catholic teaching still holds that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.



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