Gay Priest Calls Pope's Comments 'Step In Right Direction'06:45
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Pope Francis speaks during a news conference aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013. (Luca Zennaro/AP)
Pope Francis speaks during a news conference aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013. (Luca Zennaro/AP)

Pope Francis spoke with reporters this morning in an extraordinary, impromptu press conference on board his plane on the way back to Italy from Brazil.

The National Catholic Reporter's John Allen Jr. writes that the 76-year-old Pope stood the whole time and never refused a question, even thanking a reporter who asked about charges of homosexual conduct against his appointee to reform the Vatican bank.

And when Francis was asked about the Vatican's alleged "gay lobby," the Pope replied that while a lobby might be an issue, he doesn't have a problem with homosexuality itself, telling reporters "Who am I to judge them if they're seeking the Lord in good faith?"

Gary Meier, an openly gay priest in St. Louis, Missouri, says the statements by Pope Francis this morning are "affirming," and an improvement over then-Cardinal Bergoglio's previous statement that gay marriage is the work of the devil.

Meier is one of a handful of priests in the U.S. who have publicly said they are gay.

Last June, Meier told his parishioners that he would take a leave of absence, after telling his archbishop that he could no longer teach the Roman Catholic church's stance on homosexuality.

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This segment aired on July 29, 2013.

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