What to make of the Pope’s words? Yesterday the Pope responded to a question gay priests by answering, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” and “We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.”

The comments are being hailed as a change in tone from the Vatican. The previous Pope held that those with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. The new Pope also showed that he understood that being gay is in no way linked to pedophilia. Several GLBT groups were quick to express gratitude for the new tone of openness.

At the same time, the Pope did not challenge Catholic doctrine that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” It is a good thing to say we should not judge, but what is needed is the recognition that homosexuality is not a sin.

Perhaps the Pope meant that because priests are expected to be celibate, it does not matter so much whether a priest is straight or gay. The Pope did say that priesthood for women is a “closed door.”

So I think the Pope’s statement can be understood as a step in the right direction by a church that is ten thousand steps behind the curve of Justice.