(RNS) In 1992, the Vatican under Pope John Paul II published the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which stated, among many other things, that “homosexual tendencies” are “objectively disordered.” One of the principal theologians who shaped the document was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would succeed John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI. He too would take a hard-line stance against homosexuality.

Two decades later, Pope Francis has signaled what many believe to be a softening on the matter.

In 2013, when asked about gay priests, he famously replied, “Who am I to judge?” He has continued to call for the Catholic Church to treat LGBT people with dignity and respect, and to fight discrimination against sexual minorities.

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Written by Jonathan