Midstate Catholics at odds over Pope's comments - abc27 WHTM

Midstate Catholics at odds over Pope's comments

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Pope Francis may be trying to guide the clergy away from what he called an obsession with some polarizing topics: abortion, gay marriage and contraception.

He said the church should be "the home of all, not a small chapel."

abc27 News wanted to get reaction here in the Midstate from some of this diocese's 250,000 Catholics. What abc27 News found out was that Midstate Catholics are divided about what the Pope had to say.

On the topic of homosexuality, Pope Francis said, "If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge."

When it comes to the role of women as leaders in the church, Pope Francis said, "The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions."

Midstaters are at odds about those statements...

"So we don't really need the church hierarchy to tell us what's right and what's wrong because we know that in our brains and in our heart. I think that's the positive outcome of what he's saying," said Tim Noll.

"The issues that he speaks of are issues that have been on the back-burner long enough," said Mickey Daylor.

"And he didn't say we couldn't talk about them, he's saying that we can't be absorbed by them," said Joe Aponick with the Harrisburg Diocese.

Aponick also said Pope Francis is not rejecting, ignoring, or changing the church's teachings. He is just changing the perspective.

"He's focusing on more of the 'thou shalts' rather than the 'thou shalt nots,'" Aponick said.

Pope Francis said, "The message of the gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message."

But some Midstaters said they go hand in hand.

"I don't see any reason why we can't focus on those issues on addition to helping people and doing the things we need to do as human beings," Daylor said.

In the interview, Pope Francis also said, "The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful."

That was something everyone could agree on.

To read the Pope's entire interview, visit http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview.


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