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Kalamazoo diocese reacts to Pope Francis' comments on gays and the Catholic church

KALAMAZOO, MI (WTVB) - Pope Francis this week got some attention for saying that it's not wrong to be gay, and that might seem like a big shift for the Catholic Church. Vicki Cessna, a spokesperson with the Diocese of Kalamazoo, which includes Branch County, says the pope's words were well within the church's usual teachings. She says what's more remarkable is that the pope attracted over a million people to a World Youth Day event in Brazil, and showed a willingness to speak frankly. In the Pope’s words, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

Cessna says that the church has never said it's a sin just to be gay, only to act on it. The pope also indicated this week that there will be no change to the church's position on women priests.