Fr. Gary Meier, an openly homosexual priest, said in an interview with the Huffington Post that Pope Francis is “softening the tone” of a Church hierarchy that has been “anti-gay” and “hostile” to gay people.

Father Gary Meier, a Catholic priest who has offered counseling on LGBT issues for the past 15 years, joined HuffPost Live’s Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to discuss where religion fits into the discourse on sexuality. While Pope Francis has certainly been vocal about gay people, Meier said the conversation needs to extend into the church’s teachings.

“It’s interesting to note that what he’s not doing is changing the teaching. That tone is rooted in the teaching, we’ve got to change the teaching. We’ve got to get this out of the realm of morality,” Meier said. “Homosexuality is not a moral issue. You’re gay or you’re not gay. You’re bisexual or you’re not bisexual. We don’t go around asking people if heterosexual people are morally correct. … It’s not an issue. We need to get the conversation away from the morality because it’s no longer that.”

Talking down the Church is the best way to get the HuffPo to love you.

Fr. Meier, on his own website, states that he works as an LGBT counselor.

For the past fifteen years, I have counseled individuals towards self acceptance. Knowing and accepting who we are can be difficult especially for members of the LGBT community. As author of the book, “Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay Catholic Priest,” I offer a unique perspective on this struggle and have used this perspective to help others. Whether you identify as LGBT or have a family member or friend who is LGBT, I can help you work towards acceptance, love and peace.