In one of the first lengthy interviews he has given since ascending to the papacy in March, Pope Francis said he believes the Catholic Church has grown too “obsessed” with social issues like abortion, birth control, and gay marriage. The pope’s statement is a sharp departure from many of the other leaders in the Church, who have recently been pressuring him to take a stronger stance on those issues.
“It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” Pope Francis told an Italian outlet. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent.”
U.S. Catholic Bishops have been criticized for focusing almost exclusively on social issues — like advocating against marriage equality and fighting against Obamacare’s birth control benefit — at the expense of the Church’s other teachings on social justice issues.
But the leader of the Catholic Church said that the religion needs to “find a new balance” on the moral teachings that it prioritizes. “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 explained.
On the other hand, this line of thought has basically got to be driving the rest of the hardliners insane, so I'm okay with this guy keeping up the pressure. You do have to start somewhere to reform a church whose values long ago left a guy like me. Or, well, anyone in the 20th century or after, for that matter.
Good luck with that, Frank.