'Church needs a gay pope' says outspoken Italian priest

Don Andrea Gallo warns against repression, 'leads to abuse'

'Church needs a gay pope' says outspoken Italian priest

Genoa, March 6 - The Church needs a gay pope, outspoken LGBT rights advocate and Catholic priest Don Andrea Gallo said on Wednesday. "A homosexual pope would be a magnificent thing. The essence of the Gospel is that we are all God's sons and daughters and we are all equal as God's children," Don Gallo told Radio 24 program La Zanzara. The founder of Genoa's San Benedetto drug-rehab community, Don Gallo has publicly defended the rights of gays and transsexuals, smoked marijuana in city hall to protest against what he says are draconian drug laws, and been branded a Communist by his opponents. "The homosexual priest must be free to express his identity and his sexuality, because repression leads to pedophilia," Don Gallo explained, adding that he himself was sexually harassed by a bishop when he was a young priest. Also on Wednesday, 75% of readers of Asian Catholic website said in a survey that pedophilia is the Catholic Church's biggest problem, and that sexual abuse by priests should be at the top of the next pope's agenda. The survey was conducted from February 18-28, with 2,300 readers responding.

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