Did he really address the issue of gay priests?
Apparently. What did he say again?
"I think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good. They are bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this point beautifully but says, wait a moment, how does it say, it says, these persons must never be marginalized and “they must be integrated into society.”
The problem is not that one has this tendency; no, we must be brothers, this is the first matter. There is another problem, another one: the problem is to form a lobby of those who have this tendency, a lobby of the greedy people, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of Masons, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me." - SourceI do not disagree with the Holy Father. He is speaking of men who have accepted Church teaching on sexuality and reformed their lives.
Although I'd like to point out that what the Pope said is pretty much how things have been handled and continue to be handled - all along. Bishops, Cardinals, seminary rectors, and vocation directors have more or less always had the same attitude - and most still do, I am sure. I have no doubt the powers that be know who the gay/ssa priests are in their diocese; the chanceries know, the personnel boards know, the nuncios most likely know if a candidate for bishop has any history. Those in charge also know which abbey (in Minnesota at least) and which religious group is gay friendly. They know. If we lay people know - they know. I'm sure the Pope knows more than he admits. Pope Benedict had to know. Members of the curia know. Cardinal Burke knows some stuff. The seminary rectors knew and know. The abbots know. Your pastor probably knows. If they say they don't know - it just means they do not have proof of misconduct.
I'm not going to waste my time discussing the pros and cons of the matter any longer, since it doesn't concern me - it's not my responsibility. It is what it is.
Over the years, I've said repeatedly that attitudes would be changing. Church teaching cannot change - interpretation can and does change however. I think you will now see the Church going along with Cardinal Dolan - "doing more for gay people." Whatever that means? I think now you will see priests doing what Fr. Martin S.J. hoped for - "coming out." Gay/SSA men haven't been held back from seminary, despite the fact the documents forbade it. Why? Because "the problem is not that one has this tendency..." And ,"if a person, or secular priest or a nun, has committed a sin and then that person experienced conversion, the Lord forgives and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we go to confession and we truly say “I have sinned in this matter,” the Lord forgets and we do not have the right to not forget because we run the risk that the Lord will not forget our sins, eh?"
What the Pope said is pretty much what the practice has been and will be. The Pope proposed nothing new. Everything is possible with God. There is no limit to his mercy - no accounting for sheer grace. God's will be done.