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Local Catholics Speak Out About Pope's Interview
CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- In a groundbreaking interview granted to a Jesuit publication, Pope Francis outlined his vision for the Catholic church and local Catholics are speaking out about it.
Pope Francis met with the editor of the Italian magazine, La Civilt Cattolic, over three days in August.
The Pontiff said he wants the church to be "a home for all" and not "a small chapel."
Pope Francis also said "we cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods....it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time....we have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards."
"I thought it was very, very good," said Rev. Joe Casey of St. Francis Xavier Church, a Jesuit parish. He added, "I thought it was rather open to the new church - not the new church - but how to present Jesus to the world. It was more open I thought. He was saying let's get messy. Get involved!"
A parishioner leaving mass at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral said "I would remind people it's the Roman Catholic Church. Catholic means inclusive - everybody."
Jerry Davis added, "I think the Pope is entirely right to say hey, we not need to stress those issues that set us apart and divide us. But that does not mean that the Pope is not entirely pro-life, anti-gay marriage and all those things that are teachings of the church."
Rev. David Endres, a professor of church history at the Athenaeum of Ohio said Pope Francis has been surprisingly candid since his election to the papacy in March and willing to speak publicly on nearly any issue.
"I think it's setting a pastoral tone of welcome and certainly one to emphasize mercy and forgiveness and love," Rev. Endres said.
He said he and other priests discuss a variety of topics when they preach - not just abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage. He believes Pope Francis is trying to remind all people the church has a lot to offer.
"The church has never been defined by just a few moral issues but always had a much wider vision. The wideness of the church's vision compels us to deal with all kinds of moral issues."
But Angeline Beatty, a Catholic from Lakeside Park, said she doesn't believe the issues the Pope cited are discussed too much by clergy.
"I do not think the Church talks too much about it because it's on everyone's mind. I think to deny that it's not on everyone's mind would be living kind of in the dark ages."
Pope Francis has been criticized by some conservative Catholic bishops for not discussing abortion. Francis said hes never been a right-winger and while hes aware of the criticism, he said he does not have to discuss abortion.