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Do You Agree With Pope's Call For Change of Church's Focus?

In a 12,000-word interview, Pope Francis said church leaders should turn away from "small-minded rules."

Pope Francis. Credit: Patch file photo via Associated Press
Pope Francis. Credit: Patch file photo via Associated Press
Written by Chris Helms 

The leader of the Catholic Church has called for a shift away from dogmatic opposition to gay marriage, abortion and birth control — and toward a pastoral emphasis on mercy.

A wide-ranging interview with Pope Francis was just published worldwide in journals of the Jesuit order. It has Catholics talking.

Pope Francis calls for a focus on mercy, saying not all the church's dogmatic and moral teachings are equal.

"The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules," the pope said. "The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all."

Bishops in the U.S. have put the church's stance against abortion at the top of their agenda, notes the Boston Globe. One Providence bishop has gone so far as to criticize Pope Francis for not speaking out more against the practice.

"We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards," Pope Francis said in the interview, "losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant."

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of the Boston archdiocese, did not comment to the Globe about the pope's startling interview.

To read the entire interview with the Pope, please visit America Magazine.

What's your take on the pontiff de-emphasizing opposition to gay marriage, abortion and contraception? Do you welcome it?  

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