With the statement saying the Catholic Church had become obsessed by “small minded rules about how to be faithful and that pastors should instead emphasize compassion over condemnation when discussing divisive social issues of abortion, gays and contraception”, Pope
Francis propelled his church to the 21st century.
The Popes blunt message only 6 months into his papacy did not I’m sure receive a standing ovation especially from the conservative wing of the Catholic Church, right to life groups, and those opposed to the gay movement. However times have changed, and more people are accepting those issues; the Catholic Church has not.
With the priest scandals, along with their conservative stances, the Catholic Church’s membership has been on a steady decline. The Pope admitted ‘the church needed to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel, ” said the new Pope.
Of course these were comments only; no change in church teaching, and reform will not happen quickly. Still the Pope opened the door for discussion and compassion for all.