(CNSNews.com) – Pope Francis is “starting to sound like a nun,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a Catholic, when asked about some of the Pope’s recent remarks concerning issues such as abortion and homosexuality.
In a Sept. 22 interview on CNN’s Situation Room, host Candy Crolwey asked Pelosi, “Before we go, Pope Francis is calling for a new balance between the chruch’s spiritual and political missions. He says the Catholic Church should not interfere spiritually in the lives of gays. He also called for a larger decision-making role for Catholic women. We ask Nancy Pelosi , one of the nation’s most prominent Catholics, for her reaction.”
Pelosi said, “Starting to sound like a nun. The Pope is starting to sound like the nuns.”
“Now, his Holiness is obviously a very revered figure,” said Pelosi. “I was there for his inauguration. And I being Catholic believed that he was chosen Pope by the intercession of the Holy Spirit, so I pay attention to what he says. And I can tell you that there is great joy among Catholics and friends of Catholics as to respect that his Holiness pays to all of God’s creation and members of the church and then beyond that. It’s really quite remarkable. It’s a source of joy to us all.”
When Crowley mentioned that the Pope’s remarks might not be “a source of joy to all Catholics because I’ve seen conservative Catholics express some reservations about it,” Pelosi said, “I don’t know about them because certainly when it was another Pope who had something else to say, they wanted to hold us all to it.”
Excerpts from Pope Francis’s lengthy interview for the Jesuit magazines La Civilta Cattolica and America, have sparked some controversy and extensive media coverage. (The full interview can be read here.)
Some of the comments by the Pope that are garnering attention include the following: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. …
"The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. … We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”
One day after that interview was released, Pope Francis met a group of Catholic gynecologists at the Vatican. In his remarks to them, he said: “Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who, even before he was born, and then as soon as he was born experienced the rejection of the world. And also each old person and - I spoke of the child, let us also speak of the elderly, another point! And each old person, even if infirm or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ proposes! They cannot be discarded!"