In his first lengthy papal interview, Pope Francis says bluntly that the church has been too focused on the issues of abortion, gay marriage and contraception and suggests it find a "new balance" to deliver its message.
But he said there should be no retreat from the church's stand on the issues because he agreed with Church doctrine and considered the matter closed.
The pope touches on a wide range of issues, from life as a Jesuit to his favorite films. He does not suggest any changes in church doctrine, but is very pointed in remarks on how the church should conduct its teaching.
"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," Pope Francis said. "This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
"The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent," he said. "The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently."
He said the church should delivery its message in a "missionary style."
"We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel," the pope says. "The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow."
• The role of the church: "The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle."
• Homosexuality: "A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person."
What do you all think? While I wouldn't necessarily call the new Pope tolerant, he seems to be inching in a positive direction.
Answer by okmanders at 5:01 PM on Sep. 21, 2013
Answer by sahmamax2 at 7:21 AM on Sep. 20, 2013
Answer by Dardenella at 5:13 PM on Sep. 20, 2013
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