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Who Is Pope Francis? Part 4

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AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia

When I first read His Holiness' interview about gay priests ("who are we to judge?"), I cried. To think that the Official Church would stop being a stumbling block to so many people ... and just get out of Jesus' way for a change?!? I couldn't believe it. Today's announcement of the survey is another "pinch me" moment for marginalized people - whether gay and lesbian, divorced, sympathetic to the above, or just fearful of a Church they perceived as bigoted and narrow minded.

It doesn't dampen my excitement one bit to know that the Official Doctrine about marriage hasn't changed and maybe won't change. There was some guy in Palestine who really got annoyed when people put doctrinal consistency ahead of pastoral care and justice for the poor. The rule applies to me just as it does to the bishops: those who elevate "mere human precepts" as God's laws are not giving true worship (Matthew 15:9). We need to stop judging each other and focus on the bigger picture.

The historical Jesus was pretty clear and simple in his message: to worship God, you need to lovingly care for the poor, the sick, the lonely and the marginalized. It's so simple, yet seemingly so easy to screw up if history is any guide. The only difference with His Holiness Pope Francis is that he is saying the message directly. If only 20% of his followers actually listen, what a beautiful world we would have!