New York City mayoral candidate Christine Quinn and gay rights
groups were among those applauding Pope Francis' support for gay
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good
will, who am I to judge?" Francis rhetorically asked reporters aboard
the papal aircraft on the journey back to the Vatican from his first
foreign trip to Brazil.
But when asked his position on gay marriage, Francis drew a clear
line in the sand: “You know perfectly the position of the church.”
Many responded that it wasn't what the Holy Father said, but
rather how he said it that made such an impact.
“It's the way he's expressing himself, with great candor, that
is surprising people,” John Wauck, a professor of communications at
the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, told
magazine. “Actually, the substance of it is nothing
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, agreed.
“While Pope Francis's words do not reflect a shift in Church
policy, they represent a significant change in tone,” Griffin wrote
blog post. “Like his namesake, Francis's humility and respect
for human dignity are showing through, and the widespread positive
response his words have received around the world reveals that
Catholics everywhere are thirsty for change.”
Quinn, who is gay, also cheered the pope during an appearance on
cabler Current's Say Anything.
“That's a big statement, you know, from the pope, the head of
the Catholic Church, not a place that's been like at all leading in
this issue,” Quinn said. “And I know some people are going to
say, 'He should have said more, he should have said less,' but that's
a big statement from the pope.” (The video is embedded on this
our video library for more videos.)