Dubuque Archbishop Says Pope's Comments About Gays Are Compassionate

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - In response to a question about an influential "gay lobby" at the Vatican, Pope Francis said, "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?" He's not making a change in church teachings about homo-sexuality. Still, it's a shift in papal tone.

While he admits he's only briefly met Pope Francis, Dubuque Archbishop Michael Jackels simplifies the Pontiff's statement.

Archbishop Jackels said, "When a person feels a certain sexual attraction that in of itself is not a sin. It's acting upon it. "

Jackels says, because priests take a vow of celibacy, meaning they're never to act on their sexual desires, he says It really doesn't matter if a priest is gay or straight, as long as he doesn't act on it.

Jackels said, "since the military abandoned the policy perhaps we could take up the phrase, '"don't ask, don't tell.'"

Jackels says the Pope's statement is based on the teachings of Jesus.

"We take our lead from the teachings of Christ and His church. And from scripture and tradition" said Jackels. "We try to adapt and conform ourselves to that."

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