Pope Francis extends a hand to women, gay priests

In an unusually open and lengthy discussion with reporters during his return to the Vatican after a trip to Brazil, Pope Francis stepped back from the Catholic Church’s typically clear-cut stances on gay priests and the role of women in the church.

“If a person is gay, seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said. “They should not be marginalized.”

Under Francis’ predecessor, gay men were banned from the priesthood. As for women becoming priests, Francis remained adamant that “the door is closed,” though he did concede that women should be greater administrative roles within the church.

Read more on Francis’ remarks over at World Now.

Photos: Osservatore Romano / EPA, Luca Zennaro / AFP/Getty Images

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