Residents React to Pope’s Comments on Homosexuality

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CLEVELAND -- Pope Francis is again commenting on gays and lesbians and now, Cleveland residents are taking note.

The Pope said religion does not have the right to interfere spiritually in the lives of gays and lesbians. His comments appeared in the Jesuit Magazine, America: The National Catholic Review.

When asked if he approved of homosexuality, the Pope replied with a question.

"Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person," the Pontiff said.

When Pope Francis was asked about homosexuality in an interview in July, he said, "if a person is gay and accepts the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge them?"

Tom Coyne was among those leaving 12:00 p.m. mass at St. John Cathedral in Downtown Cleveland Thursday and reacted to the Pope's comments.

"There's been a lot of confusion on that, so maybe this will help clarify some of it," said Coyne.

Bob Tayek, spokesperson for the Diocese of Cleveland, said the Pope's comments are not really different from Catholic teaching.

"The catechism of the Catholic Church has always taught us that homosexual people are not to be discriminated against. The only situation that involves issues is when we talk about homosexual relations, those being contrary to the will of God."

Annette Cothran agreed.

"You can't help who you love, and love is a very strong word. And, God is love,"

Many Catholics believe that God will be the ultimate judge. Ursala Coyne said she agrees with what the Pope is doing.

"When you go to heaven, God looks at your soul and what you've done. I know gay people and they are wonderful people," she added.

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