In a revealing interview published in multiple Jesuit publications, including America magazine, the Pope appeared to back away from the church’s frequent focus on issues of sexuality and reproduction. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” he said. “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.”
Pope Francis also challenged Catholic attitudes about homosexuality.
“In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this,” the Pope said before restating his unprecedented July comments about not judging gay people. “Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”