I’m not Catholic, and 5 years ago would never have thought of defending a pope! That said, here is a link to the entire interview. A great interview. He is not saying abortion, etc. is “okay”. He is saying that it is not the only thing, and not the MAIN thing.
An excerpt from the excerpt below, which I think is at the heart of the statement:
“The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”
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. The churchs pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The churchs pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. 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. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.
I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastors proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.
It’s fine to point out the media’s lies.
The "MAIN" thing cannot be, without those of us who understand it, fiercely defending the lives of pre-born babies. Americans have become desensitized to the true horror of what "abortion" really is. No, there is no way to over-emphasize the evil of abortion.
The Pope was unwise to put it this way.
The wrongness of abortion and same-sex marriage are NOT matters of “Church teaching,” and need NOT be discussed only in the context of “Church teaching.”
The wrongness of both is knowable through an understanding of NATURAL LAW.
By insisting that they must be discussed in the context of “Church teaching,” the Pope has undermined the pro-life movement.