The world is trying to figure out how much to read into Pope Francis’ answer to a reporter’s question on gay priests as he winged his way from Brazil to Rome:
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said, speaking in Italian but using the English word “gay.”
David Gibson and Alessandro Speciale ask: “Did Pope Francis change church teaching on homosexuality?”
The biggest message that Francis sent, and the most substantial change he made, was in tone. Throughout his discourse there was none of the clinical, distancing talk of gays and lesbians as “objectively disordered.” Nor did Francis say, as Benedict did, that homosexuality “is one of the miseries of the church,” they write.
The Rev. Gary M. Meier, author of “Hidden Voices: Reflections of A Gay Catholic Priest,” responds to the pope’s comments with “cautious optimism” on CNN. And John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter calls Francis’ remarks “remarkable.”
Among the three million (three million!) Roman Catholics who journeyed to Copacabana Beach Saturday to hear Pope Francis was Fabio Mateus. He walked 1,850 miles to be there. (1,850 miles!) He started his journey on March 15.
He might want to book a flight for the next World Youth Day, however. The Vatican has just announced that it will be in Krakow, Poland, in 2016.
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Police in Washington, D.C. yesterday arrested a woman suspected of throwing green paint in two chapels at the Washington National Cathedral – the Bethlehem Chapel, and the Children’s Chapel. Some of the paint hit the cathedral’s organ, and similar green paint was found that same day at the base of a statue by the Smithsonian Castle, and Friday on the Lincoln Memorial.
The woman under arrest is believed to be homeless.
Silver-tongued Eric Metaxas has fascinated me ever since he keynoted the National Prayer Breakfast last year. Our Sarah Pulliam Bailey profiles the interdenominational evangelical, and considers the comparison to Chuck Colson.
A new law in North Carolina directs state officials to regulate abortion clinics based on the same standards as those for outpatient surgical centers, a change that critics say will force most to close.
A host of difficult issues face Israeli and Palestinian negotiators as they begin formal peace talk, but perhaps none will be as difficult to resolve as the status of Jerusalem – which both parties claim as their capital.
Omid Safi looks behind the astonishment at Fox News that a Muslim scholar has written a book on Jesus. That book, Reza Aslan’s much talked about “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” hit number one on Amazon after the author’s interview on the network.
Rep. Jim Moran, (D-Vir.), who recently toured Guantanamo, and wants to close it, said the following after his visit to the prison.
Rather than the Quran, the book that is requested most by the [high-value detainees] is Fifty Shades of Grey. They’ve read the entire series in English, but we were willing to translate it. I guess there’s not much going on, these guys are going nowhere, so what the hell.
An AP investigation has revealed that 10 Nazi suspects the U.S. had ordered deported never left the country, and remained eligible for Social Security and other benefits. In most cases no other nation would take them and four of them are still living in the U.S.
Some embarrassment for Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who discovered that his Church of England had invested indirectly in a short-term loan company which he had vowed only days earlier to drive out of business.
The AP writes about France’s escalating struggle to enforce secularism, as authorities and others condemn women who cover their face with veils. The next target: headscarves in the workplace.
Hundreds of Buddhists protested in predominantly Hindu Nepal, where the government has forbidden them from building a shrine in a protected area.
- Lauren Markoe