7/30/2013 6:18 PM
by Rebecca Turco
OAK HILL - A local priest reacted to Pope Francis's stance on gay priests, saying his comments were in line with the Catholic faith.
Pope Francis, in his first news conference as Pope on Monday, said he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis said. "We shouldn't marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society." He said gay clergy men should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
His predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, however, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests.
Father Carlos Melocoton of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Oak Hill explained the former pope and Pope Francis practice the same religious principles but have different approaches with how they preach the Word. Melocoton said homosexual acts are still considered a sin in Christianity but gay people are accepted in the Church. "We have the role, we have the mission to welcome and bring them into the light of Jesus Christ," he explained.
Francis' remarks came during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip to Brazil.