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Pope Francis Issues Manifesto About Church’s New Direction

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The pope once again surprises his followers with a manifest that describes the direction he’s taking the church.

Monique Griego has local reactions to a very controversial letter.

Eight months into his headline-grabbing papacy, Pope Francis is once again surprising and even shocking some of his followers with a new document. In it, he slams excessive capitalism, growing inequality and calls on people—including priests—to get out into the world and do more for the poor.

“They’ve been concerned with the technicalities, with the rules and regulations. He’s going back to the gospel message of love one another, concern for everyone, whether you’re a sinner or a saint,” said Catholic parishioner John Murphy.

Pope Francis released the 84-page document, titled “The Joy of the Gospel,” earlier this week. While it doesn’t offer new doctrine, it outlines his priorities and passions, which includes a renewal for a church he called “bruised, hurting and dirty…because it has been out on the streets.”

“I think, sometimes, younger people can get dispirited with the church. I’m a college student, so, speaking from that kind of population,” said Erin Cain.

And many parishioners believe this Pope is taking the steps needed to bring the church back from a very dark place.

“We haven’t really known how to cope with what’s happening to our church,” said Francis Lewis.

Lewis is part of a growing number of followers hoping for major changes.

“Speaking the way he is, I think maybe there’s a possibility we can have married priests and women priests and that this church can thrive again,” Lewis said.

In the manifesto, the Pope warns he will not be changing the church’s view on abortion, gay marriage or female priests. Still, Lewis believes under Francis, a brighter future is possible.

“You know, you can’t change everything at once,” Lewis said.

Pope Francis also made headlines recently for saying the church was “obsessed” with issues like gay marriage, contraception and abortion.

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