The audacity of pope
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The pontiff's rejection of old dogmas could renew a church that seems out of step with the times.
To those outside its ambit — and to some of the faithful, too — the Church of Rome has seemed to be an anachronism in recent years. Its morally problematic dogmas on issues like birth control and homosexuality have estranged it from a society which believes that diversity and choice produce richer lives than normative cultures. It was desperately in need of a leader like Pope Francis, whose interview by Antonio Spadaro, SJ, has appeared in Jesuit publications worldwide.
The first Jesuit pope has said that the church has been obsessing on "small things and small-minded rules". He wants to bring the focus back to cardinal virtues like humility and compassion. If a homosexual seeks God, "who am I to judge?" he has asked. He insists that the church must use the old ways to address new realities. He wants a church built large to accommodate all, not a chapel for the select. Unexpected and welcome words from the leader of a faith that appeared to be in danger of becoming backward-looking.