BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pope Francis shakes up the Catholic Church in a blunt new interview seen all over the world. In it, the pope urges his followers to stop obsessing over same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception.

Some are saying it’s a new day for the church.

Kai Jackson talks to local Catholics.

The pope’s words may not unify opinions, but he is generating discussion.

Pope Francis has issued a clear warning to the faithful about the future of the Catholic Church. In a new interview appearing in Catholic journals around the world, the pontiff said: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.”

“We have to find a new balance,” or he warned: “The church is likely to fall like a house of cards.”

“I was sort of thunderstruck by some of the things that he said. It’s a very candid assessment of the kind of pressures that he faces in his job and his response,” said Father James Martin, American Magazine.

The pope said: “The church sometimes has locked itself in small things, in small-minded rules.”

Catholics in Baltimore are encouraged by his words.

“Inclusion, you know, openness. And acceptance and non-judgmental attitude,” said Jane Moran, Catholic.

At a time when religion and the Catholic Church are under scrutiny, Pope Francis appears to be stating the case of why biblical teaching is still relevant, though some believe people are overstating his intentions.

“I don’t think the pope is going against anything that we as Catholic Christians have always accepted. We don’t have the right to condemn anyone,” said Maris Vismale, Catholic.

The College of Cardinals elected Francis pope six months ago, in March.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Baltimore tells WJZ that the pope’s message of humility, charity and love will help reintroduce the teachings of the church to the world.


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