Pope Francis criticizes church’s focus on gays, other ‘small things’

Pope Francis has accused the Catholic church of focusing too much on gays, abortion and contraception. In fact, in a recent interview His Holiness says the church has become downright obsessed with such “small things.”

While he doesn’t explicitly support any of these matters and emphasizes that the church’s position on them is “clear,” Pope Francis indicated that the church should focus more on spreading God’s love and mercy than on condemning others.

In an interview with La Civilta Cattolica, an Italian Jesuit journal, Pope Francis said:

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. 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.

He added:

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 church has sometimes locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.

This isn’t the first time he’s expressed a greater acceptance of the LGBT community than his predecessors. In July, he told reporters on a plane returning from a visit to Brazil that he was in no place to judge gays.

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