Sep 23 2013

Does Pope Francis Represent a More Progressive Future for Catholicism?

Pope Francis made headlines once more in an interview he gave last week that was published in 16 Jesuit Journals internationally, where he appeared to revise the Catholic church’s strong approach on controversial issues like abortion, contraception, and gay marriage.

Known for eschewing some of the formality of the church in terms of his dress, his speech, and even his living quarters, Pope Francis has embraced a simpler lifestyle, outwardly committed himself to the cause of poverty and greater understanding between people. Originally from Argentina, he is the first Jesuit, the first person from the Global South, and the first Latin American to ever become the Pope.

His remarks in a recent interview published last week generated various responses the world over.

Progressive Catholics celebrated his position that contraception, abortion, and gay marriage should not be central to the church’s teachings, and also lauded his statement on homosexuality that “if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge.”

In his interview the Pope also addressed the role of women in church saying, “The woman is essential for the church… The feminine genius is needed whenever we make important decisions.”

But not every one is celebrating. Salon.com published an essay entitled, “Best Pope Ever, Still Pretty Aweful.”

GUEST: Jon O’Brien is president of Catholics for Choice (CFC), the leading prochoice organization advocating for sexual and reproductive rights from a standpoint of culture, faith, justice and morality

Visit www.catholicsforchoice.org for more information.

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