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Pope Francis Has Remarkable Meeting With Gay Atheist Friend

Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pope Francis set up a private meeting with his longtime gay friend and his partner before leaving Washington.

During his recent visit to the U.S., Pope Francis addressed various social issues; met child sex abuse victims; visited prisoners, to talk to them and pray with them; and also held a private meeting with a same-sex couple in the U.S. The Pope’s unconventional and non-traditional ways are not unknown to people, in fact it is the very reason that makes him such a popular figure; known, respected, and loved all over the world, irrespective of faith and religion.

Pope Francis Has Remarkable Meeting With Gay Atheist Friend[/tweetthis]

While in the U.S., The Pope arranged a private meeting with a longtime friend, whom he has known from his days of Argentina; Yayo Grassi. Grassi has been in a same-sex relationship for about 19 years now. He visited Francis, along with his partner Iwan Bagus, and a few other friends at the Vatican Embassy on September 23. Upon meeting, Grassi and Francis greeted each other with a warm hug, as the Pope proceeded into the room to meet and bless the friends Grassi had brought along with him.

When asked about his meeting with the Pope, Grassi mentioned that the meeting was arranged weeks ahead of Francis’ visit to the U.S. and they had coordinated over emails about the meeting. Francis had called Grassi on the phone about three weeks before the U.S. trip and said he would love to give him a hug.

Francis Was Always Aware of Grassi’s Sexual Orientation, But Friendship Trumps Everything

The Pope had taught Grassi literature and psychology during his classes at the Catholic High School, Inmaculada Concepcion, in Argentina. Grassi, who identifies himself as an atheist, moved to the U.S. in 1978 and started his catering business in Washington. He mentions that the Pope has never been judgmental about his choices and has never condemned either his sexuality or his relationship with his partner. At the end of the meeting the Pope hugged Grassi and Bagus and kissed them on the cheek.

Grassi says that he understands that as a pastor of the church Francis has to follow the teachings of the Church, but as a human being Francis is an open person who understands all kinds of situations and is accepting of all kinds of people, without any discrimination. Although Francis has not changed the Church’s teachings that consider same-sex relationships sinful, considers and emphasizes the thought of mercy over judgement. In 2013, The Pope had famously said “Who am I to judge.”


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