• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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The gospel is for everyone, including all sinners, says Pope Francis

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Pope Francis in a recent interview has reiterated that the gospel is for everyone, including all sinners and warned that if the Church sets up customs checkpoints, it ceases to be the Church of Christ.

According to the Vatican, the Pope stated this in a recent interview with Norah O’Donnell, director of CBS Evening News, aired in part on the programme “60 Minutes.”

The interview was conducted in the run-up to this year’s World Children’s Day on May 25 and 26 in Rome. According to Pope Francis, some of the children suffering in war-torn areas in Gaza, Ukraine, “have forgotten how to smile.”

He therefore, reiterated his appeal to countries at war to embrace peace and bring an end to the conflict. “Everyone, stop. Stop the war. You must find a way to negotiate peace. Strive to achieve peace. A negotiated peace is always better than an endless war… Please, stop. Negotiate.”

Read also: Climate crisis: Pope Francis appeal for political shift to halve global warming curve

In addressing the ideologies and rising anti-Semitism on the back of the growing protests across university campuses, Pope Francis stated, “Every ideology is bad, and antisemitism is an ideology, and it is bad. Every ‘anti’ is always bad. You can criticise one government or another, the Israeli government, or the Palestinian government. You can criticise as much as you want, but not be ‘anti’ a people. Neither anti-Palestinian nor antisemitic.”

The Pope also condemned criticism from a section of the Church in the U.S identified as the conservative bishops, and called for a pragmatic approach to the gospel. According to him, a conservative is someone who clings to something and does not want to see beyond. “It is a suicidal attitude because one thing is to take tradition into account and consider past situations, another is to lock oneself in a dogmatic box,” Pope Francis stated.

Regarding homosexuality, the Pope reaffirms his earlier position that homosexuality is not a crime, but a human condition demanding understanding from the Church. And also condemned surrogacy, which he said has become a business. “This is very bad. It is very negative.”

Pope Francis however urged women to consider adoption as an alternative to surrogacy and advised that women should not bypass the moral principle involved with surrogacy.

Addressing the suffering of migrants, Pope Francis condemned widespread indifference, likening it to Pontius Pilate’s hand-washing. “Many out there see what happens, the wars, the injustices, the crimes. It’s indifference. Please, we must let our hearts feel again. We cannot remain indifferent to these human tragedies. The globalisation of indifference is a very bad disease.”

The Pope referred as pure madness the news that the state of Texas is trying to shut down a Catholic organisation at the border with Mexico offering humanitarian assistance to undocumented immigrants.

“Closing the border and leaving them there is madness. The migrant must be welcomed. Then we will see how to manage them. Maybe they need to be sent back, I don’t know, but each case must be considered humanely,” the Pope stated.

On the level of intolerance and abuse in the Church, Pope Francis stated that it is a crime the Church cannot tolerate. He acknowledged that more needs to be done, and that the Church must ensure that it not only gets punished but never happens again. “Unfortunately, the tragedy of abuse is enormous.”