Pope Francis Says He Won’t Judge Gays

Pope Francis Says He Won't Judge GaysPope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.

‘Who am I to judge them?’

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not. He was responding to questions about whether there was a “gay lobby” in the Vatican.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?”

He also said he wanted a greater role for women in the Church, but insisted they could not be priests.

‘Less judgemental’

The Pope arrived back in Rome on Monday after a week-long tour of Brazil – his first trip abroad as pontiff – which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival. Festival organisers estimated it attracted more than three million people.

His remarks on gay people are being seen as much less judgemental than his predecessor’s position on the issue. Pope Benedict XVI signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. But Pope Francis said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

Do you agree with Pope Francis’ statements? Do you think gays can become priests?

Source: BBC News

Image: Al Jazeera

Vatican Bank Chief Dismissed Amidst Money Laundering Investigation

The director of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, has been removed from his post for dereliction of duty, the Vatican says.

The bank’s board of directors unanimously passed a no-confidence vote in Mr Gotti Tedeschi, a statement said. It said he had failed “to carry out duties of primary importance”, but it did not elaborate. In 2010, Italian police launched an investigation against Mr Gotti Tedeschi as part of a money-laundering inquiry. Members of the board believed Mr Gotti Tedeschi’s dismissal was needed to “maintain the vitality of the bank”, the Vatican statement said.

The moves comes as Moneyval, the Council of Europe body tasked with counteracting money laundering, prepares to rule at the beginning of July on whether the Vatican meets international standards on financial transactions. Memos leaked earlier this year suggest there are serious differences among Vatican officials over how far to go in ensuring financial transparency, according to media reports.

The Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), was created during World War II to administer accounts held by religious orders, cardinals, bishops and priests. It lost £250m in a scandal involving the collapse of one of Italy’s biggest private banks – the Banco Ambrosiano – in 1982, with which it had close ties. The Vatican Bank has been headed by Mr Gotti Tedeschi, 62, a trained economist, since 2009.

When Mr Gotti Tedeschi was placed under investigation in 2010, the Vatican said it was “perplexed and astonished”, and expressed full confidence in Mr Tedeschi. It said the matter was the result of a misunderstanding, and that none of its employees were involved in any wrongdoing.

Do you think the Vatican Bank is really involved in money laundering? Tell us your opinions!

Source: BBC News

Image: Catholic Herald