The sign on All Saints Church near Syracuse University says "All Are Welcome." Pastor Fred Daley encourages anyone to attend the Roman Catholic services - even as the Vatican made him feel unwelcome. Daley is an openly gay priest and says it was hard for him to hear Pope Benedict call homosexuality a disorder. Daley believes Pope Francis's statement expressing acceptance of gay priests is a huge step forward for the church and meant a lot to him.
"These statements by the Pope are helping the church - in a beautiful way - be a church that is on the cutting edge of liberating people and not oppressing them," said Daley.
Speaking with reporters, Pope Francis said homosexual acts are a sin, but "if a person is gay and seeks god and good will, who am I to judge?"
His comments mark a dramatic shift for the Catholic Church. As she walked by the cathedral in downtown Syracuse, Natalie Glenn said she supported the change.
"I think it's a sign of acceptance and I think that's beautiful," said Glenn.
Father Daley says he is encouraged by Pope Francis' support but also knows it will be a long journey to completely end discrimination.
"The fact that it is news says a lot about that we have a ways to go to be able see everyone as a child of god and as a brother and sister."