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Pope Francis says church is 'obsessed' with gays and abortion

Pope Francis gives another stunning interview, says "I have never been a right-winger."

By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com
Pope Francis, seen from Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. (File/UPI/Stefano Spaziani)
Pope Francis, seen from Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. (File/UPI/Stefano Spaziani) | License Photo

In a broad interview with Jesuit journalists, Pope Francis stunned again with his softened approach as a more pastoral pope than his doctrine-focused predecessors.

Francis revealed he has been reprimanded for not speaking out enough against homosexuality, abortion and contraception. He said it is not necessary to "talk about those issues all the time" and warned the church can become "obsessed."

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“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, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person.”

"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," Francis said.

"I have never been a right-winger," he said.

He added that the church needs to prioritize women in a new way. “Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role," Francis said. “We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman."

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“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 proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant.”

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. 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.”

Pope Francis has previously said the church is too wealth, calling for priests to live humbly, and recently made headlines for driving a 1984 Renault that was given to him with 186,000 miles on it.

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