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Pope bluntly faults church's focus on gays and abortion

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he told Father Spadaro. “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

This could just be another version of "love the sinner, hate the sin" but it's certainly better than the previous "loudly denounce the sinner because of their sin".

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I like Pope Francis. He seems genuine, and far more in touch with the public than any of the other Popes ever were.

Of course if I were cynical I'd posit that they've lost touch, lost a huge proportion of their congregation, and have employed a stellar PR company to try and recoup.

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Pope Francis says that you shouldn't judge gays, atheists can go to heaven as long as they follow their consciences, and that helping the poor is a moral issue. I'm no believer, but this guy seems to be on the good side of the "Christian vs. Christ-like" divide.

Full disclosure: I went to a college founded by the Franciscan order (Pope Francis's branch of Catholicism). The nuns there said much the same thing - they believed in gay rights (including marriage equality, even back in the dark ages that were the G.W. Bush years), salvation for those of differing faiths (and no faith), they believed in and taught about evolution and science, they taught about helping the poor. Some of the more traditionalist Catholic students protested the formation of the campus's LGBT Club, but the nuns slapped them down, saying that all people - regardless of race, creed, ability, gender, or sexual orientation - are children of God, and deserving of respect.

Again, I'm not about to convert - if you've read Laika or Fistfights with Flashlights, you probably know how I feel about religion - but the Franciscans I've met are pretty cool.

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