US evangelist: The Pope is ‘not the judge’ on homosexuality

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A US evangelist has spoken out against the Pope’s recent softening on gay issues to say that he is “not the judge” on such issues.

Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, made the comments during NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters in July during a plane journey back to the Vatican following his trip to Brazil, Pope Francis said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society. He said: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?”

Graham responded to say: “I think he’s right when he says he’s not the judge,… He’s not the judge. God is the judge.”

He said he felt that homosexuality was a sin, and that he had felt compelled to express that view. He went on to say that he would not shift on the issue.

“God would have to shift — and God doesn’t,” he said. “God’s word is the same, yesterday and today and a million years from now.”

Speaking of his father, now 95, he said: “He’s very weak.”

“His vitals are good, and he’s eating a little bit,” Graham said, “but he’s just extremely weak.”

In November, US President Barack Obama said he had been “hugely impressed” by Pope Francis’ recent remarks admitting the Roman Catholic Church was “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception.