CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George echoed the sentiments of the Pope who called for the inclusion of gay people within the Catholic Church Monday.
"Pope Francis, on his way back to Rome from the World Youth Day celebration in Rio, reaffirmed the teaching of the Catholic faith and other religions that homosexual genital relations are morally wrong," said George, the Archbishop of Chicago, in a statement.
"The Pope also reaffirmed the Church’s teaching that every man and woman should be accepted with love, including those with same sex orientation," the Archbishop added.
On Monday, Pope Francis addressed homosexuality for the first time publicly since being elected to the position in March.
"If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized," Francis told reporters on a flight from Brazil to Rome.
George noted that the Archdiocese of Chicago sponsors the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach (AGLO) for openly gay people and Courage for those who aren't openly gay.
"Both ministries make available the sacraments of the Church for those who want to live chastely as followers of Christ in the Church," George said in a statement adding that any judgments about guilt are settled in the act of reconciliation.