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Content about Pope Benedict XVI

April 10, 2015

President Francois Hollande considers Laurent Stefanini 'one of the best diplomats'

Pope Francis has reportedly refused to accept the nomination of the new French ambassador because he is gay.

Laurent Stefanini, a close aide of President François Hollande, was nominated in early January but the Vatican has yet to accept his credentials.

As envoys are normally accepted within six weeks, and as the Vatican does not explicitly refuse credentials, a prolonged silence is being taken as a rejection.

February 26, 2015

Pontiff is not what he seems

Pope Francis is a complicated, confusing pontiff to the LGBTI community –especially its transgender members.

On the surface Francis displays a pastoral countenance to his papacy that extends to us all.

He set off global shock waves, when flying home after a weeklong visit to Brazil in 2013, when he was queried about the ‘gay lobby’ in the Vatican.

February 19, 2015

Unprecedented move is seen as a 'sign of movement' in the church

In an unprecented move Wednesday (18 February), the Vatican gave a group of gay Catholics VIP seats at Pope Francis' weekly general audience.

The 50 pilgrims from the US sat front and center in St Peter's Square but were only identified on the list of attendees as a 'group of lay people accompanied by a Sister of Loretto.'

And a Vatican monsignor skipped over New Ways Ministry entirely when he read out the list.

Nevertheless, New Ways Ministry co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick said the gesture was a 'sign of movement' in the Catholic church.

January 27, 2015

First time a pontiff meets with a transgender person

Pope Francis held a private meeting with a transgender man after he wrote to the pontiff about the rejection he experienced by the Catholic church after transitioning. 

Diego Neria Lejárraga and his fiancée Saturday (24 January) were received at the Vatican, in what marked the first meeting between a pontiff and a transgender person.

Last year, Neria sent Francis a letter, in which he described how the church he attended in Plasencia, Spain had rejected him after he underwent sex-reassignment surgery. One priest even called him 'the devil’s daughter.'

October 13, 2014

A new document reveals that some bishops believe some gay Catholics have 'gifts and qualities' to offer parishes

The Catholic Church could be able to radically change its views on gay people, as signalled by a new document leaked from the Synod.

The papers, released as a summary of the ongoing meeting between the Pope and his bishops, reveal the church could shift in tone regarding homosexuality, divorce and contraception.

Gay Catholics' orientation should be 'valued', and it should be noted they have 'gifts and qualities' to offer parishes, the Tablet reports.

May 1, 2014

Head of the Catholic Church will ask bishops on their findings after speaking to their congregations about what they think about family life

Pope Francis has called on his bishops to meet in order to discuss same-sex relationships, divorce and contraception.

Last year, the leader of the Catholic Church directed bishops around the world to speak to their flocks about family life.

In a meeting planned for this October at the Vatican, the religious leaders will put forward their findings.

March 5, 2014

But head of Catholic church reiterates ;marriage is between a man and a woman'

Pope Francis has told an Italian newspaper that the Catholic church might find civil unions between same-sex couples acceptable.

The Pope was sure to reiterate to the large Italian daily, Corriere della Sera that 'marriage is between a man and a woman.'

February 14, 2014

Archbishop of Lublin claims Pope Francis reassured them and told them to continue opposing equality for gay couples

Pope Francis laughed at the idea of same-sex marriage, according to Polish bishops.

Archbishop of Lublin Stanislaw Budzik has revealed personal details of when they went to visit the Vatican last week.

They had asked for advice as the Catholic Church is currently facing fierce criticism over child abuse cases and their opposition to same-sex marriage.

December 17, 2013

Magazine calls the Catholic pointiff the 'single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people'

The Advocate, the oldest LGBTI publication in the US, named Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Monday (16 December).

The magazine placed a NoH8 campaign tattoo on the cheek of the head of the Catholic Church for its cover illustration along with the quote 'If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge.'

Such sentiments are a dramatic reversal from the anti-gay rhetoric of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI who had once written that homosexuality was 'intrinsically evil.'

November 1, 2013

The Vatican is surveying Catholics around the world to assess their views on how to approach same-sex couples and their families in the church and how to approach other issues of controversy for Catholics – suggesting Pope Francis I may be preparing for reform in the church

The Vatican under Pope Francis I is conducting a worldwide consultation with Catholics on how to approach a range of social issues including homosexuality, contraception and divorce ahead of a 2014 Extraordinary General Session of the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

The extraordinary synod will discuss ‘pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization,’ and will be only the third such synod since 1965 when synods were reinstated by Pope Paul VI.

The last was held by Pope John Paul II in 1981.

September 27, 2013

Pope Francis is making some positive comments on gay people, but there is much more to the story

Pope Francis continues to send shock waves across the globe with his liberal-leaning pronouncements. And they are the most affirmative remarks the world has ever heard from a pontiff on the dicey subjects of abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage.

September 19, 2013

In a revealing interview, the Pope said he wants the Church to step outside of itself and reform its attitude

Pope Francis has said the Catholic Church needs to find a 'new balance,' otherwise it will lose 'the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel'.

In an extensive 12,000-word interview with Antonio Spadaro, editor of Italian Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, the Pope shared his vision of what he wants the Catholic Church to be like, now and for future generations.

September 6, 2013

UPDATE: The Vatican categorically denies the Pope called a French 25-year-old student to reassure him over his sexuality

Pope Francis has stunned Catholics and gay people around the world alike by reportedly calling a gay student to tell him his sexuality does not matter.

Christophe Trutino, 25 from Toulouse in France, had written to the head of the Catholic Church as he was terrified he was going to hell for being gay.

He said, in the uproar over France’s battle over same-sex marriage, he was struggling to stay a believer in the Catholic faith.

On Thursday afternoon, he received a shocking response.

July 30, 2013

LGBTs in the majority Catholic Philippines have welcomed comments from Pope Francis following World Youth Day in Brazil in which he said he could not judge people for their sexual orientation

LGBT rights advocates in the Philippines have welcomed Pope Francis’ post World Youth Day comments in which he said that, ‘If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?'

The Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay) praised what they called the ‘somewhat positive’ replies given by Pope Francis to reporters who quizzed him after his Brazil tour for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day gathering.

July 29, 2013

Leader of the Catholic Church has stunned LGBT people around the world by saying he would not judge gay priests

Pope Francis has stunned LGBT people around the world by telling reporters he was not in a position to judge gay people today (29 July).

The leader of the Catholic Church has said he will not judge priests for their sexual orientation, making a stark contrast to his predecessors.

In an open and wide-ranging news conference as returns from his first foreign trip to Brazil, he said: 'If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?'

July 12, 2013

Pope Francis has announced an overhaul of the Vatican City criminal code, with the age of consent raised and stiffer punishments for pedophiles within the city state

Vatican City’s equal age of consent is being raised from 12 to 18 following the announcement of an overhaul of the Catholic Church’s criminal code by Pope Francis.

Francis has also ordered that Vatican City adopt international norms to prevent transnational criminal activities.

‘It is … necessary for the international community to adopt adequate legal instruments to prevent and counter criminal activities, by promoting international judicial cooperation on criminal matters,’ Francis said in a statement released by the Holy See yesterday.

July 5, 2013

A major statement, co-authored by former Pope Benedict XVI and new Pope Francis pushes Vatican’s anti-gay message

Both living Popes, Francis and Benedict XVI, have come together to send an unprecedented message against gay marriage.

A new ‘encyclical’ issued by the Vatican today, contains their joint musings on the nature of faith and love. It says faith should serve the ‘common good’ but makes clear this doesn’t include gay and lesbian marriage.

The document, only signed by Francis but promoted by Benedict XVI who came out of retirement today to push it, says faith enlightens humanity ‘first and foremost’ by ‘the stable union of man and woman in marriage’.

June 18, 2013

After Pope Francis admitted to a 'gay lobby' in the Roman Curia, a 'fraternity of homo-sensible' priests have spoken out against the claims

Gay Catholic priests looking to meet up for friendship and more now have a place to do it online.

Venerabilis, an unofficial gay dating site targeted for priests and the people who love them, is allegedly based in Vatican City.

June 14, 2013

Catholic Church head has met with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to discuss gay marriage

Pope Francis has surprised in gay marriage talks by proving he is a more diplomatic figure than his predecessors.

The leader of the Catholic Church deftly avoided speaking against gay rights while speaking to the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Francis, the only pope in history to become leader when he was the cardinal of a country with same-sex marriage, said he wanted to work with Welby to promote family values ‘based on marriage’.

May 4, 2013

Cleric been told by the Vatican to leave the UK so as not to create further embarrassment for the Catholic Church

Friends of the disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien say he’s been ordered by the Vatican into exile and ditch his plans for retirement in Scotland.

The Herald commented that: ‘It is the clearest indication yet of the Vatican's unwillingness to let the matter drift’ of the Cardinal’s sexual assault on male priests when he run seminaries in the 1980s and during a drinks party in Rome.

April 22, 2013

Piero Marini, ex chamberlain of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, said that 'gay couples need civil unions, but we can not call them "marriage"'

Archbishop Piero Marini, the chamberlain to former Pope Benedict, has said the Catholic Church is changing and called for civil unions for gay couples.

Marini, who was a senior official for the conservative Benedict, recognized ‘same-sex couples need civil rights and civil unions. But we can not call them “marriage”’.

Speaking at a bishops’ meeting in Costa Rica, Central America, Marini commented also on the new Pope, Francis: ‘Now we can breathe fresh air, the church is changing.’

March 13, 2013

GLAAD: 'We hope this Pope will trade in his red shoes for a pair of sandals and spend a lot less time condemning'

The election today (13 March) of Pope Francis as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church has led LGBT groups to call for a Pope different from his anti-gay predecessor Benedict XVI.

'For decades the Catholic hierarchy has been in need of desperate reform,' said Herndon Graddick (pictured), president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

March 13, 2013

Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen by the conclave of cardinals as the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church

Pope Francis was elected as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church today (13 March).

Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, was chosen by the conclave of 115 cardinals as a successor to Benedict XVI.

Tens of thousands of faithful Catholics broke into cheers as the white smoke indicated the new pontiff had obtained the required two thirds majority, which happened in the fifth round of voting over two days.

Francis is still a conservative choice, but has taught the ‘importance of respecting gay individuals’.

March 8, 2013

As the cardinals start to gather for the conclave to elect the next pope, we give a run-down of the top popefuls and find a bleak picture on LGBT issues

As the red-robed cardinals gather in their conclave to choose the next pope, it is clear homosexuality will be a key issue facing the future head of the Catholic church.

Pope Benedict XVI’s reign was marked not just by the biggest child sex abuse scandal in the history of the world but also by increasing challenges to the church’s traditional stance on LGBT issues.

Benedict opposed homosexuality and gay marriage, and in January 2013 stated: