Taking his lead from Pope Francis’ suggestion, in a candid interview published around the world Thursday, that Catholic hierarchy ought to not focus so much on abortion, gay marriage and contraception, Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George did some focus-shifting himself. In a statement released by the Chicago archdiocese Friday, Cardinal George called the pope’s comments “beautiful” while sidestepping the more controversial portions of the pontiff’s remarks — views decidedly more liberal than the cardinal’s own stated opinions — and reacted solely to Pope Francis’ declarations of humility and faith in God’s love.
Cardinal George said, the Chicago Archdiocese reported:
“In his beautiful reflection published in English in America magazine,
Pope Francis begins by identifying himself as a sinner, and so are we
all. The first thing a sinner striving for conversion needs to hear is
that God loves him or her. Mercy is love eager to forgive.
“That has become the leitmotif of Pope Francis’ teaching, and it puts
into perspective the demands of discipleship expressed and clarified in
the Church’s established doctrinal and moral teaching. For who the
Pope is, we should all be grateful. From how he teaches the truths of
the Catholic faith, we can all profit.”