Pope Francis ignited a firestorm on the Internet with a few words about gay and lesbian people that seemed to suggest a new church position on homosexuality. I say "seemed to" because it would only appear new to someone who was unfamiliar with the old position. Speaking to a gang of reporters bringing up the rear of his plane on the way home from his quotific visit to Rio de Janeiro, the pope was asked about his recent reference to a "gay lobby" among the curial staff in Rome. That phrase is already the source of some confusion.
The pope responded that although a "gay lobby," as in an inter-curial pressure group—for or against more acceptance of gay Catholics, who can say?—might be an issue, he did not have a problem with men and women who are homosexual. "If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem ... they're our brothers."
Speaking about homosexuality so frankly was remarkable in and of itself, but nothing the pope said deviated from current Catholic catechism. Although it regards homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered," church teaching demands that gay and lesbian people be accepted with "respect, compassion, and sensitivity."...The catechism is a little more nuanced, and less unsightly, than the standard "hate the sin, love the sinner" platitude, but it doesn't say much more and it's far less than most lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics would like to hear from their church. Pope Francis was merely reiterating this teaching in his wonderfully straightforward, cut-through-the-gobbledygook manner.
Read the rest at CNN: "What do pope's remarks on gays mean?"