VATICAN CITY — (08-07-23) — Pope Francis created quite a stir on Sunday when he said that the Catholic Church was open to everyone, including the gay community. He further added that the church has a duty to accompany the gay community on a personal path of spirituality but – Within the framework of the Church’ rules.

Speaking to reporters on board the Papal plane returning to Rome from Portugal, Pope Francis said his health was good following surgery for an abdominal hernia in June. He said his stitches had been removed but had to wear an abdominal band for another two or three months until his muscles strengthened.

One reporter reminded his holiness that during the trip, he said the Church was open to “everyone, everyone, everyone” and asked if it was not incoherent that some, such as women and gay people, did not have the same rights and could not receive some sacraments.

This question was in reference to women in the 21st Century who still cannot become priests through the sacrament of Holy Orders and, same-sex couples not allowed to contract marriage, which is also a sacrament.

“The Church is open to everyone but there are laws that regulate life inside the church,” said Francis. “According to the legislation, they cannot partake in (some) sacraments. This does not mean that it is closed. Each person encounters God in their own way inside the Church,” said Francis.

Francis further said that ministers in the Catholic Church had to accompany all people, including those not conforming to the rules, with the patience and love of a mother. We must remember that the Church teaches that women cannot become priests because Jesus chose only men as his apostles.

While the Catholic Church does not allow same-sex marriage or even blessings for same-sex couples, Francis has shown support for civil legislation that gives same-sex couples rights in areas such as pensions, health insurance and inheritance. It teaches that same-sex attraction is not sinful but same-sex acts are.

We will continue to follow this story and await the response from the hardliners in the Vatican.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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