The Pope has said the Catholic Church is open to all, including LGBTQ+ people, but said some rules must be followed. Speaking with reporters on Sunday, August 6, during a return flight from Lisbon to Rome following the World Youth Day Catholic festival, 86-year-old Pope Francis was quizzed on whether the Church is truly open to everyone. During the festival, the pontiff had said the Church was open to everyone, a message asked by a reporter as possibly inconsistent with the statement as women and gay people are barred from certain sacraments. Women are not allowed to become priests and same-sex couples are not permitted to marry in the Catholic Church. Pope said, “There are laws that regulate life inside the Church. According to the legislation, they cannot partake in (some) sacraments.” According to Reuters, Pope Francis added that ministers in the Church must accompany all people – including those not conforming to the rules of the religious organization – with the patience and love of a mother. In his 10 years as leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has sought to move the institution forward and create a more welcoming environment for groups traditionally excluded, particularly LGBTQ+ people. He has made reaching out to the LGBTQ+ community a key tenet of his papacy. However, the pontiff has had to strike a fine balance by appeasing both liberal and conservative members of the Church and not rocking the boat too much.