POSTED: Monday, July 29, 2013 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 10:34am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — People say they are shocked after Pope Francis said he won't judge gay priests  this morning at a press conference. Now, people are talking.
Shae Thomas said she commends Pope Francis for finally talking about homosexuality in the catholic church. She said homosexuality is a taboo subject in the catholic community, but his statement is needed.
"I think that it will be something that overtime people will be voice their opinions about and there will be some conflict," Thomas said. "However, I think, overall, that it's good the church has taken the time to voice their opinions on these kinds of topics."
Tyler Trahan said he believes the Pope's message was simple. It means everyone is welcomed.
"That's the misconception about the catholic church and faith, that we are not discriminatory. A lot of people think that just because the catholic church is against gays getting married means that we totally don't want them a part of our church at all, that is definitely not the case," Trahan said. "We are called to love, and that means accepting everybody because we are all human beings."
Trahan and Thomas said even though the Pope's comments may be considered controversial, they means progress in the Catholic community.
"This will definitely stir some things around, but people will start to advocate for it or against it and progress will be made one way or another," Thomas said.
"We are not against people being gay. We are against the actual act of being gay," Trahan said. "So don't ever think that you are going to walk into a catholic church and be shunned from society within the church. No, we welcome everybody and that's the way we are."
Late this afternoon, Baton Rouge Bishop Robert Muench released a statement about the Pope's comments.
It said in part:
"The Holy Father has simply re-iterated the Church's teaching on forgiveness and mercy. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states... homosexuals "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity."
Experts say this is the first time in history a pope has commented about homosexuality.