Pope Francis set a tone for a new kind of papacy upon being elected the first Jesuit pope of the Catholic church this past March. His modern, humble ideologies resonate with many young, progressive Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He exemplified this by his outreach to the world’s young and poverty-stricken people through his most recent remarks in a revealing interview with La Civiltà Cattolica, a Jesuit journal in Rome.
The Pope began his interview in his typical down-to-earth fashion. In a quote provided through The New York Times, he stated, “I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. I am a sinner.”
He has continued to turn heads with his humble leadership, washing the feet of prisoners on Holy Thursday and calling by phone those who write to him.
He continues to attract young people to the Catholic church, which is currently home to 1.2 billion members. As times transition from a more conservative, older generation of Catholics to a younger, more progressive generation, the views of the papacy have attracted much attention and controversy.
In the La Civiltà Cattolica interview, he stated the role of women in the Catholic church must be re-examined, feeling they should have a greater part in decision making, although there still will be no ordination of women in the church. He explained this need for a stronger feminine voice by saying, “The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The woman is essential for the church.”
His modern views regarding women seems to have already more young people to Catholicism.
Pope Francis’ recent statements regarding homosexuality are perhaps the most controversial. He implied that the church should not put so much emphasis on the issue of homsexuality. He elaborated on these groundbreaking views in his interview, saying, “God in creation has set us free. It is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”
The church does not look to condemn homosexuals, he said.
While his views may seem revolutionary, Pope Francis insisted the church cannot discuss controversial issues such as these all the time. He stressed the need for leadership and forgiveness.
He commented, “Ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all,” according to CNN. When asked about making mistakes, he expressed that all people can live a full life, regardless of situation.
“God is in every person’s life,” he said. “Although the life of a person is a land full of thorn and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow.”
Pope Francis’ remarkable debut as the new head of the church will likely continue to draw Catholic and non-Catholic attention all across the globe.
Information from The New York Times and CNN News were used in this news report.