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Mitchell Landsberg

Pope Francis faults Catholic Church's focus on gay marriage, abortion

Pope Francis faults Catholic Church's focus on gay marriage, abortion

ROME — In an extraordinary, wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis expressed frustration that the Catholic Church is “obsessed” with issues such as abortion, homosexuality and contraception, and called instead for a focus on healing and mercy.

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” Francis said in the interview published Thursday by an Italian Jesuit magazine. “The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”

The 12,000-word interview, which lighted up social media and jolted Catholic commentators worldwide, buttressed impressions that the new pope...

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