Pope Francis recently gave an interview to La Civiltà Cattolica, a Jesuit publication, in which he talks about himself and his interpretation of Catholics’ roles in social issues. He begins the interview by calling himself “a sinner.” “It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner,” he said. He also discussed his views about many of the social issues championed by the Church, including homosexuality and abortion.
This is consistent with his attitude since assuming the papacy after Pope Benedict XVI resigned citing health issues, despite the belief of many that the Church needed a change following the increasing number of criminal sex scandals involving priests and the role that Pope Benedict—then Cardinal Ratizinger—in the ensuing cover-ups. Pope Francis has since been very humble and conciliatory in his dealings with press and the media.
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In July of 2013, Pope Francis was asked about his stance on homosexuality, specifically with in the clergy. Pope Benedict had taken a hardline stance on the issue saying it was “an intrinsic moral evil” that it threatened “the future of humanity itself” Pope Francis, however, told a reporter from The New York Times, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
In this most recent interview, he echoed that sentiment when asked about the kind of church he dreams of, saying “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods.” While never officially veering from Catholic dogma about these issues, he instead believes Catholic energies are better spent helping their communities. Catholics should consider the humanity of the people they encounter, and leave the business of judging a person to God. “We must always consider the person,” he said.