Resource for comments on Pope Francis's remarks on gays and women in the Church

Image: Paul LakelandPaul Lakeland, Ph.D., the holder of the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies at Fairfield University, said, "While the Pope's remarks signal no particular change in church teaching on sex and marriage they do represent a remarkable shift of attitude towards the place of gays and lesbians within Catholicism. The use of the term 'gay' rather than the clinical 'homosexual' signals a willingness to identify people in the way they choose to be known, and the commitment to leave judgment to God shows Pope Francis as a serious practical theologian who is aware that divine grace moves in mysterious ways not controlled or even known by the pope himself. Catholics should rejoice that the way forward for gay Catholics will be marked by compassion and humility, and hope that the same virtues will be evident in the many other challenging issues that Francis will have to face."

Dr. Lakeland is an award-winning author and internationally recognized Catholic theologian whose scholarly work on the nature of the Roman Catholic Church continues to generate study and debate among major scholars in his field. He led an unprecedented collaboration between Catholic universities and non-denominational divinity schools entitled 'More Than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church' that explored the diversity of viewpoints among Catholics on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. Dr. Lakeland is also the director of Fairfield University's Center for Catholic Studies, which will have an array of lectures this year about the important role of women in the Church. For details, visit

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726,

Posted on July 30, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 13

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