Excerpts from Pope Francis’ explosive new interview

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Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sept. 11, 2013. Photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sept. 11, 2013. Photo by Paul Haring/Catholic News Service

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(RNS) Pope Francis has given a lengthy, wide-ranging interview with journalists from his own Jesuit order in which he made a number of stunningly frank comments that are likely to rattle the church and cement his reputation as a pastoral rather than a doctrinal leader. Here are excerpts featuring his most provocative comments, plus links to the full transcript.

  • Frank

    I think its important to note he is not changing the churches position on abortion, gay marriage or contraception.

  • Doc Anthony

    Well, at least the Pope is finally putting his cards on the table. I love the clear pastoral emphasis on “heal the wounds”, but the doctrinal emphasis is missing in action. Both emphases are needed, publicly so, or things don’t work so well.

    Looks like a long(-er) walk, a rock(-ier) road, for American Catholics soon.

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  • Diego

    That’s right, but those are words that will make the headlines and stun those who won’t bother the read what the Pope actually says. A shame as he’s saying so much more than those three words, and it’s nothing against church teaching. It’s just stuff people aren’t used to hearing about.

    Also, I’m glad to have RNS as a resource for religious news. When I saw the news headline on Reddit I came straight here instead of clicking the link.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Is it the pope or the media which is obsessed with “sex” issues??? The pope made a very telling point (ignored by all the media accounts I have heard and read) that he is a son of the Church and embraces the teachings of the catechism–BUT does that mean that every time he writes or talks he must emphasize moral issues— like, for example, lying???? Must he talk of the “sex” issues to feed the media’s obsessions??? He wants to talk about mercy and forgiveness–but in the context of the traditional moral teachings of the Church and the Catholic catechism.
    As, usual the media is trying to use the pope’s words to further their moral agenda.

  • The culture as a whole is sex-obsessed, and the institutional church doesn’t escape that, I think.

    The corporate media has no moral agenda. The agenda is to make profits. If a “cool Catholicism” will sell, then it will be reported. It’s the main reason why I stay away from Big Media sites and stick to ones such as these.

  • Xela

    He is the leader of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has decided to take certain positions on things that people have found controversial. As a figurehead he must be expected to represent the church when such issues are brought up, in the same way that the president should be expected to defend laws he has passed.

    If he wants to avoid talking about issues regarding sexuality then fine. He should then take steps and measures to change the church’s stance on homosexuality and contraception to one of indifference instead of trying to divert attention to things that, admittedly, SHOULD be more important to the church.

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  • Mary

    Everything this “pope” says is a heresy. According to Catholic doctrine, a heretic cannot validly be pope. That is why many Catholics (although not the majority) consider him and the popes since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958 to be an antipopes.
    Consider his remark about the Church not having the answer to all questions, and even Moses leaving room for doubt and how that flies in the face of Scripture itself. Moses left no room for doubt. Why also did Scripture say: “You have no need that any man teach you; but as his unction teaches you all things, and is truth.” (1 Jn. 2: 27), and “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will teach you all truth…” (Jn. 16: 13). The mark of faith is certitude in the truths that one must believe to be saved from eternal hellfire, as if these certainties were something distinct from the Lord and not necessary to attain to Him.

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  • aslan

    i guess you are not a catholic… you misunderstood the Pope’s comments or you just want to find fault in his comments…

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  • No……thanks for sharing…..

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  • John Stefanyszyn

    Jorge Bergoglio said that he is a sinner.
    To be a sinner is one who continues to disobey the Will of the One God and who continues to live according to the freedom to do his own will.
    Jorge Bergoglio has confessed and continues to confess that it is RIGHT TO BE FREE to worship any ‘god’, any ‘religion’.

    BUT there is Only One Creator God whose identity is clearly define by His Son Jesus Christ…and it is Only Christ that will rule according to the Will of His Father and NOT according to the ‘freedom will’ of man.

    Jorge Bergoglio is a sinner and continues to be a sinner.

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  • Louis

    I am not Catholic but I already feel strong respect and affinity for this man. Just watching the way he interacts with others and his sense of humility portends a fundamental change in Catholic leadership. May God bless him.

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