Pope: More Focus on Grace, Less on Dogma

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Pope Francis is calling on the Catholic Church to put more emphasis on grace and mercy and less on moral issues like abortion and homosexuality.

In an interview with an Italian Jesuit magazine, the pope said the church has focused too much on "small-minded rules."

"It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," he said. "The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not all equivalent. The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently."

"We have to find a new balance," the pope continued. "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."

"The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. Then we can talk about everything else," he said.

Nevertheless, he made it clear that Church teaching hasn't changed on issues like abortion and homosexuality.

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