Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Pope's non-judgemental line on gays welcomed in Italy

English
© ANSA

(by Kate Carlisle) Rome, July 30 - Comments on
homosexuality by Pope Francis during a candid exchange with
journalists have turned heads after the pontiff said that he
could not judge someone for being gay.
The pope's stance, softer than the traditional Church line,
represents a "turning point", Catholic philosopher and author
Giovanni Reale said on Tuesday.
"I don't judge. If a person is of good will, who am I to
judge?" he said aboard a Rome-bound flight from Rio De Janeiro,
where he wrapped up a week-long visit for World Youth Day.
He began by speaking on lobbies, which he said he was
against, not just gay ones, after controversy earlier this year
when he was quoted as admitting there was a gay lobby in the
Vatican.
"Being gay is a tendency. The problem is the lobby," he
said.
"The lobby is unacceptable, lobbies of greedy people, the
gay one, the political one, the Masonic one, so many lobbies.
This is the worst problem".
Reale, who edited the writings of Pope John Paul II,
applauded the pope's comments in an interview with Italian daily
Corriere della Sera.
"The Church must not condemn those who differ, but should
help them," he said.
"Although, according to the doctrine of the Church,
homosexuality is a mistake because it is written in Bible, the
example that applies is that of Christ who taught that who is
without sin cast the first stone. The Church is doctrine, but,
above all, it is example. If you do not believe that Christ is
contemporary and that His message should speak to today, then
faith is over," Reale said.
Green Party Leader Angelo Bonelli was equally as approving.
Bonelli said on Monday that "the words of Pope Francis
about gays are not only revolutionary, but are of historic
significance.
"Pope Francis with his simplicity swept away in a few
moments concepts used to fuel prejudice and discrimination,"
Bonelli said.
"Now is the time for Italy to take a step forward and
immediately approve a law against discrimination of sex, race
and religion...unfortunately, there are many episodes of
violence towards gays and racist insults," he said.
The pope said in his unscripted remarks that gays
and lesbians should not be marginalized.
"(The catechism) says they should not be marginalised
because of this but that they must be integrated into society,"
Pope Francis said.
"Perhaps this is the first time a pope's words are not
openly homophobic...are we faced with a change of direction in
the Vatican on gays? I have my doubts, but in the meantime
Pope's statements should be read carefully because although they
are still a long way from the call for rights, they represent a
new development," Alessandro Zan, a deputy with the left-wing
Freedom Ecology Left (SEL) party and activist in the gay
movement, said.
Openly gay SEL party leader and Puglia Regional Governor
Nichi Vendola commended the pope for driving a divide between
homosexuality and pedophilia, something he says the Church has
often associated.
"Pope Francis, in one fell shot, did an amazing thing
separating the issue of homosexuality from pedophilia", Vendola
said.
"We know too well that it is a part of reactionary clerical
thinking to create confusion between these two completely
different categories. The pope has said that pedophilia is not a
sin, but a crime. With homosexuality, however, he said who am I
to judge gays? If policy makers had the ability to listen to the
pope, they would be better able to help people who are
suffering," Vendola said.

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