Pope Francis and the Catholic Church Outsiders – US News

For LBGT Catholics – along with Catholics who have been divorced or had abortions – the arrival of Pope Francis, both in their spiritual lives and during his first U.S. visit this week, has offered tempered hope. Groups of people who felt judged and excluded by the church are encouraged by a vastly more welcome tone from the pontiff, who, when referring to gays who have accepted Christ and “seek goodwill,” said, “Who am I to judge?” Meanwhile, Francis has acknowledged the “suffering” of men who leave the priesthood to marry, and has eased the marriage annulment process – giving a second chance to marry to Catholics who are civilly divorced but cannot remarry in the eyes of the church without an annulment. And earlier this month, Francis said all priests during the church’s upcoming Year of Mercy may absolve women of the “sin of abortion” if those who have had the procedure are suitably repentant.But while Francis may be reaching out with his words, will he – indeed, can he – move the church to a more permissive stance on Holy Communion and more open doctrines, particularly when it comes to Catholics who have been divorced and remarried, terminated pregnancies or engaged in same-sex relationships?

Source: Pope Francis and the Catholic Church Outsiders – US News

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