Yesterday when someone sent me this New York Times story, I had to continue reading after this first paragraph:
VATICAN CITY — In a marked shift in tone likely to be discussed in parishes around the world, an assembly of Catholic bishops convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican released a preliminary document on Monday calling for the church to welcome and accept gay people, unmarried couples and those who have divorced, as well as the children of these less traditional families.
and then, as I kept going, the third paragraph struck me too:
But it is the first signal that the institutional church may follow the direction Francis has set in the first 18 months of his papacy, away from condemnation of unconventional family situations and toward understanding, openness and mercy.
I won’t quote the whole article . . . that little bit ought to be enough to make any Christian want to read the rest.
With each situation, I like Pope Francis more and more. I see in him a man who refuses to embrace the kind of judgmental us-versus-them attitudes that kept me away from churches for so much of my life. To me, Pope Francis stands publicly and unapologetically for Christianity at its finest.