Our Holy Father Pope Francis spent the last week conveying the Gospel message of charity, forgiveness and compassion to the 3 million young Catholics who attended World Youth Day in Brazil. It is not surprising that his remarks about gay priests reiterate church teaching that homosexuals are welcome in the church but homosexual activity is forbidden. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states quite clearly that homosexual persons “must be accepted with compassion, respect and sensitivity.”
Pope Francis’ remarks regarding priests certainly do not signal any change in Catholic law or teaching. The church still has an expectation that priests must commit to a life of celibate chastity whether they are homosexual or heterosexual.