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In His Own Words: The pope on gays, women and more

In a recent interview, published in English in “America” magazine, Pope Francis created a furor with his comments on what he characterized as the Catholic Church’s misguided focus on issues of abortion, gay marriage and contraception. Here are some quotes from that interview:

On homosexuality: “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 with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

On the role of the Church: “The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle.”

On matters of sex and sexuality: “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.”

On the role of women: “It is necessary to broaden the opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church. I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of ‘female machismo,’ because a woman has a different makeup than a man. But what I hear about the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo. Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed.”

I love this pope!

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