Catholics react to pope remarks on gays, abortion

Pope Francis waves to faithful as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

September 21, 2013 9:00:00 PM PDT
Catholics around the globe are expressing mixed but mostly positive reactions to Pope Francis' recent remarks that the church has become too focused on "small-minded rules" on hot-button issues like homosexuality and abortion.

At churches over the weekend, the faithful spoke about how they believed Francis' comments would impact the Catholic Church.

At Immaculate Conception in Durham, members of the congregation say they hope the pope's message will encourage others to return to church.

"It's a bright day to hear these words being spoken and not see so much polarization and focus on the other things, we need to focus on the really important issues," churchgoer Jim Leak said.

Even those who find the pope's stance to be a breath of fresh air acknowledge it might not be well-received by all Catholics.

"I think there's always that possibility. It's a big church, a large church, and there's a lot of opinion and comment," said churchgoer Sandy Leak.

But for those who are big fans of Pope Francis said they're celebrating the fact that he seeks to embrace all Catholics.

"There's nothing in him that seeks to alienate people, I think, and I think people are going to appreciate that message," Sandy Leak said.

» Click here to read the full article with the Pope from America, the national Catholic magazine «

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