Associated Press Release
ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT (AP) -- Pope Francis is reaching out to gays, saying he won't judge priests for their sexual orientation.
In a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference the pope says, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"
Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis has been much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
Francis' remarks came today during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil.