Pope Francis: don't obsess over gays and abortion
by FFE EU News staff
“Locked in small-minded rules” – this is how the pope saw the Catholic Church’s obsession over issues like gay marriage, abortion and use of contraceptives.
In a refreshing, friendly interview with Civilta Cattolica, Pope Francis talked about his favourites: Dostoevsky, Caravaggio and Mozart. But more than that, he also sent a message of mercy to his colleagues in the Church.
The pope reiterated his statement in July, saying that he was not in the position to judge homosexuals. He related that homosexuals told him they felt condemned and “socially wounded” by the Church.
“Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free. It is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”
He said that the Church should be “a field hospital after a battle” and heal the larger wounds, not be “obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” Pope Francis’ views differ distinctly from his predecessor Pope Benedict, who said homosexuality was an intrinsic disorder.
In the same interview, the pope also addressed criticisms of him made by the conservative members of the faith. He said “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that.”
However, liberal advocacy groups and many high-ranking Catholic officials praised the pope’s statement.
John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life said that the pope “is rescuing the Church from those who think that condemning gay people and opposing contraception define what it means to be a real Catholic.”
President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said “I particularly welcome his reminder that the clergy are primarily to serve as shepherds, to be with our people, to walk with them, to be pastors, not bureaucrats.”