Pope Francis made headlines this week — first on Wednesday for voicing support for same-sex civil unions, and then on Sunday for appointing the first African American Cardinal, Wilton Gregory. Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III spoke to Boston Public Radio on Tuesday about the significance of these two moments for the Catholic Church.

"I'm strangely baffled when I look at the number of priests in this country who are Black," Price said. "Archibishop Gregory is a big one, but who's next? Can we get a cluster hire here, can we get a cohort of brothers to come through in this moment?"

Pope Francis' recent statements on gay rights were seen by some as a victory for the LGBTQ community, but Monroe says it's insincere.

"This is all just lip service, and I'm suspect of it. Particularly because it comes in dovetail with the picking of a Black cardinal," she said. "It's more about tokenism, symbolism versus substance."

Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist and the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail and a visiting researcher in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology.

Price is professor of worship, church & culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Together they host the All Rev’d Up podcast, produced by GBH.