Pope Francis is making headlines Monday following statements he made about gay clergy in the Catholic Church. The Pope said he doesn't judge priests based on their sexual orientation.
Speaking in Italian, Pope Francis reached out to the gay community, setting a much different tone than the world's seen before.
When asked about his feelings toward gay priests he said, "If someone is gay and searches for the lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"
He also said although he believes homosexual acts are a sin, gay people should still be a part of society. It's a lesson of practice what you preach, according to Colin Miller, a member of the Forum for Equality.
"The teachings say don't be judgmental, don't discriminate against them, try to be inclusive, and I think he's following that," said Miller.
The Diocese of Lafayette says they're not surprised by the Pope's comments. Bishop Michael Jarrell released this statement Monday saying "I don't think he said anything new or extraordinary. He was simply explaining the catechism the Catholic Church teaches."
But Miller feels the issue goes much deeper than just scripture.
"I think the church is adjusting to the social changes happening around the world, especially in western, educated, industrialized countries like the United States and elsewhere," said Miller.
Although the Pope's statements are remarkably open, they do not signal any change in church policy.