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Cardinal George reacts to controversial Pope Francis interview

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.”