"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Pope Francis told reporters at a press conference on Monday. Homosexuality has been a controversial, divisive issue among Catholics, who perhaps should've seen this coming since the color of Lent and three of the four Advent candles are It Gets Better purple.
The Pope's comments came during an unprecedented 80-minute conversation with journalists on his plane home from his first foreign Papal trip where he partied on Copacabana beach with 3 million people during a festive outdoor mass where the cardinals danced with a flash mob.
When asked about a "gay lobby" in the Vatican Pope Francis responded by saying he's totally cool with priests who are gay.
What's most notable about his stance on this issue is that it contradicts that of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI who signed a document in 2005 saying that homosexual men should not be priests. Pope Francis says:
"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 marginalization of women, however, is a different matter. Despite his progressive comments about homosexuality and the clergy, Pope Francis will uphold Pope John Paul II's decree that "definitively… closed the door" on female priests.