Pope Francis on abortion, gay marriage, priestly sex abuse, and more
Pope Francis tackled many hot-button issues before being elected pope: The practice of shuffling pedophile priests was 'stupid,' feminism is 'machismo in skirts,' priestly celibacy 'could change,' and more.
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DIVORCE: Francis agrees that divorcees who remarry cannot take communion, but wants them attending church.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Becoming Pope Francis
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"It's a very strong value in Catholicism, marriage until separated by death. Still, today in Catholic doctrine the faithful who get divorced and remarry are reminded that they are not excommunicated. While they live in a situation on the margin of the sacrament of marriage, they are asked to integrate in the life of the parish."
HOMOSEXUALITY: The Vatican condemns gay acts, tolerates gay tendencies. Francis goes a bit farther.
Gay marriage is "an anthropological step backward. If there's a private union, then third parties and society aren't affected. But if they're granted marriage rights and can adopt, there could be children affected. Every person needs a masculine father and a feminine mother to help them settle their identity."
ORDINATION OF WOMEN: Francis is against it, but says women have a maternal role vital to society.
"If they're not part of it, a religious community doesn't only transform itself into a macho society, but also an austere one, hard and poorly respected. The fact that a woman can't be a priest doesn't mean they are lesser than the male. It's more — in our conception, the Virgin Mary is above the apostles."
FEMINISM: Francis has issues with it.
"A philosophy of constant feminism doesn't give the woman the dignity she deserves. ... It runs the risk of becoming machismo in skirts."
EUTHANASIA: Francis challenges the approach of many modern health care systems.
Medicine should not "focus so much on whether someone lives three days more or two months more, but on assuring that the organism suffers as little as possible. One is not obligated to preserve life through extraordinary measures. This can go against the dignity of the person. Active euthanasia is something else — that's killing."
DEATH PENALTY: Catholicism was once thought to tolerate it. Francis says it's never OK.
"Life is something so sacred that not even a terrible crime justifies the death penalty."
FUNDAMENTALISM: Francis says it warps and weakens the faithful.
"The teacher who is so arrogant as to make decisions for the disciple is not a good priest, he's a good dictator, an eraser of the religious personalities of others ... this kind of religiosity, so rigid, wraps itself in doctrines that pretend to provide justifications, but in reality they deny liberty and don't allow people to grow."