What was the Pope's exact quote and what was it about?

Does anyone have the exact quote from the Pope when he said, “Who am I to judge?” I am getting tired of people using it to justify gay marriage, etc. He didn’t mean it that way and I thought he was just speaking of one person when he said it.

Can anyone help with this? Thanks.

Here’s an article from National Catholic Reporter.

Here is the last paragraph of that article that was suggested to be read:

Pope Francis: “When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”

I see the words: "The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem…they’re our brothers.

That says to me that the tendency is not the problem…it is acting on the tendency that is the problem.

The grace of God through prayer and the sacraments helps the person struggling with this to refrain from acting on the tendency.

His quote was from the press conference he gave on the plane to dozens of reporters in July 2013.
He was asked about homosexual priests in the Vatican when he said that line (he does not seem to have a problem with them), but he seems to be speaking about homosexuals in general.

News quotes…and official transcript below:

“If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them?” he said. “They shouldn’t be marginalized.… They’re our brothers.”*
–New Yorker

The pontiff broached the delicate question of how he would respond to learning that a cleric in his ranks was gay, though not sexually active. For decades, the Vatican has regarded homosexuality as a “disorder,” and Pope Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI formally barred men with what the Vatican deemed “deep-seated” homosexuality from entering the priesthood.
"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" the pontiff said, speaking in Italian. "You can’t marginalize these people."

He was responding to questions about whether there was a “gay lobby” in the Vatican.
"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?"
–BBC

…when he broached the delicate issue of how the Catholic hierarchy should respond to clerics who are gay, though not sexually active. In doing so, he departed from the posture that has long shaped papal thinking on gay priests.
"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" the pontiff told a news conference in response to a question. "You can’t marginalize these people."
–WSJ

Pope Francis reached out to gays, saying he won’t judge priests **for their sexual orientation **in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference Monday as he returned from his first foreign trip.
"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked. "We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society."
–CBS

Speaking to members of the press during a flight back to Rome from Rio de Janeiro after World Youth Day celebrations, Pope Francis responded to questions about the Vatican’s alleged gay lobby, by saying: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?”
He hasn’t run into significant resistance to reform inside the Vatican, and joked that if there really is a “gay lobby” he hasn’t yet seen it stamped on anyone’s ID cards.
–The Catholic Herald

And here…ta-da!..is the official transcript from the Vatican via The Catholic News Agency:

Says the pope:
*
Then you spoke of the gay lobby. Mah! So much is written about the gay lobby. I have yet to find anyone who can give me a Vatican identity card with “gay” [written on it]. They say they are there. I think that when you encounter a person like this, you must make a distinction between the fact of a person being gay from the fact of being a lobby, because lobbies, all are not good. That is bad.
**If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, well who am I to judge them? ***The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a very beautiful way, but says, wait a moment, how do you say… it says, [that] these persons must not be marginalized for this, they must be integrated into society.”

“The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers, because this is one, but there is another, another [problem]. The problem is forming a lobby of this tendency, a lobby of the greedy, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of Masons, so many lobbies. This is the gravest problem for me. And thank you so much for asking this question. Thank you very much!”

.*

If you’re looking for the fuller context of some misinterpretation of something Pope Francis said, you can bet that Jimmy Akin has written an article about it. :wink:

7 things you need to know about what Pope Francis said about gays

Akin always does a great job of summarizing the situation and giving the context. In this case, he provides a lengthy excerpt as well as a link to the full transcript.

Thanks OP for asking this question & to everyone who explained. I have been wondering this same thing for a long time.

Well it seems vague enough for the public to jump on it and say the Pope is not that concerned with gay people. Even married gays can have a goodwill and seek the Lord.

Now he is talking about forgiveness for abortion and the same thing could happen. The public can say the Pope isn’t the concerned with abortion. I sure hope this does not take the spotlight off PP and selling baby body parts.

I know this Pope is pastoral but we also need a Pope who is clear and concise on the message Christ left us, not being vague about it.

Clearly Pope Francis said that the "tendency is not the problem ", but without precisely saying that acting on the tendency is the problem.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.