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Benedict XVI

Pope Francis eases the return for divorced Catholics while reiterating objections to abortion, birth control, gay marriage

Pope Francis eases the return for divorced Catholics while reiterating objections to abortion, birth control, gay marriage

Pope Francis, who has declared 2016 a Holy Year of Mercy, published a much-anticipated exhortation on love and marriage Friday that eases the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to rejoin the faith, but reiterates limits on gay unions and the ban on contraception and abortion.

The 260-page document, the product of several years of debate within the Roman Catholic hierarchy, calls for flexibility, tolerance and compassion in the church. But it is likely to disappoint the pope's legions of liberal fans looking for doctrinal change.

"By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth," the pope wrote. "Let...

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