Pope makes comments on homosexuality, abortion

CREATED Sep 19, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep 20, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Remarkable comments from Pope Francis. He wants the Catholic Church to shake its obsession with abortion and homosexuality.

Francis says people want pastors to be pastors - not politicians. He says the church needs to be a "home for all."
 
The 76-year-old pope has been on the job just six months, but he's had a lifetime to think about these issues. He tells the Jesuit magazine America:
 
"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," said Francis. "We have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards..."
 
"What excites me most about him is that he has a vision of the church that is not legalistic," said Marquette University Professor William Thorn.
 
He likes the pope's blunt but timely message. "The point is we should be far less judgmental than we seem to be."
 
In the past, Pope Francis has said "who am I to judge?" when asked about gay priests.
 
Now he's saying: "...when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person..."
 
Professor Thorn doesn't believe Pope Francis is signaling a change in church doctrine.
 
"He's saying let's get our act together on being compassionate first and not get completely caught up in all of these political issues," said Thorn.
 
Cardinal Timothy Dolan issued a statement supporting the Pope's message of mercy and reaching out to those who feel they have been wounded by the church.