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Bishop Rhoades Reacts to Pope's Message

Pope Francis spoke candidly about gay marriage and other social issues in his first major interview since his March election. In the interview released today by Jesuit Magazines, the Pope also says women should play a key role in church decisions.
The Pope said the church has the right to express its opinions, but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians.

Pope Francis is expanding upon comments he made earlier this year about homosexuality. In an interview released today by Jesuit Magazines, the Pope said the church has the right to express its opinions, but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians.

"Pope Francis is against abortion, and against same-sex marriage, and against divorce and remarriage. But rather than coming across as the church is involved in all these negatives. All the prohibitions, he's presenting it in a positive way," said Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese. 

In the candid interview, Pope Francis refers to the Catholic Church's Book of Official Doctrine, which says that gays and lesbians "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity." The Pope also spoke out about the role of women in the Church.

Today's comments don't break with Catholic Doctrine, but do reveal the Pope's vision for the future of the church. Bishop Rhoades says the influence of the Pope does translate to his message here in Fort Wayne.  

"The way the Pope is talking it's saying to me, OK, try to cut down on the bureaucracy part of it, it's not easy. We run all of these institutions and everything but I love what he's saying because I think it's very true," said Bishop Rhoades.


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