Pope Francis says church should not focus on gays, abortion and contraception

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

popemike2

Major changes could be coming to the Catholic Church and the push is coming from the Pope. It all came to light in a print interview done in August but published this week. In it, the Pope says it’s not necessary for the church to talk about gays, abortion, and contraception all of the time.

It’s a message that has been well received by people like Nicholas Coppola who told PIX11, “I just wish the Bishops would listen to him.”

Pope Francis’  message of inclusiveness hit close to home for Coppola. He was once a Eucharistic minister before he says St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church in Oceanside Long Island relieved him of his duties after he married the love of his life — another man.  Now he says he sees a ray of hope from the top of the Catholic Church.

popemike

Father John Shea, chaplain at Fordham University

Father John Shea, the chaplain at Fordham University, says, “I don’t think the church at this point is changing dramatically but I think its the approach towards people. He is saying we have to be open.”

The Pope made his remarks in a lengthy print interview saying the church cannot be obsessed with gay marriage, abortion and contraception. On homosexuality he asked, “Who am I to Judge?”  He called on the church to find a new balance. He says the church has locked itself up in small things, small minded rules.

The Pope did not change church doctrine or policies.  But his tone was different than his predecessor Pope Benedict who looked to grow a purer, smaller church. Father Shea told us, “We have to be open to everyone.  We don’t condemn obviously.” He added,  “The church also has an obligation to say what it believes in terms of doctrine but you don’t start with that.”