Local reaction to the Pope Francis’ remarks on gays

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On Pope Francis’ plane ride back to Rome from South America, it seemed like nothing was off-limits.  The Pope answered questions from reporters on some of the most controversial topics in the Catholic Church.

It was his answer on gays and lesbians in the church that made the widest stir.

The Pope said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Quad City Catholics are reacting to that question, Eleanor Devine says for her it is right in line with the church's teachings.

“The teaching of the church is that you respect every one you love them but you do not always approve of their actions,” says Devine.

But the statement is a different stance than the one taken by Pope Francis' predecessor.  In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI signed a document banning men who are actively homosexual or support the so-called 'gay culture" from being priests.

The statement by the current Pope lends to the idea that the Catholic Church may be seeking a softer approach.

That's not the only social issue he spoke about.  The pope also said that women should have a deeper role in the Catholic Church.   Davenport resident, Larry Lockwood says though many may not agree with him, the direction of leadership means a lot.

“There is a lot to be said for leadership and I think some the remarks that the Pope made probably is a good step in the right direction for at least catholic leader ship,” Lockwood says.

For more coverage of his press conference, click here.