After becoming the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has taken strides for modernizing and reforming the Roman Catholic Church. It seems that the Argentinian Pope is trying to open up the church to all sexualities and people of all backgrounds. From the start, Pope Francis has displayed more compassion for the divorced and remarried Catholics, and he has even sought a deeper role for women in the church. Most recently, Pope Francis announced that he would not judge gay priests. This was a stark comparison to his predecessor, who tried to prevent men with "homosexual tendencies" from priesthood.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" said Pope Francis in a news conference aboard the papal plane while flying back to Rome from Brazil, where he celebrated World Youth Day. "There's a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I've never seen it on the Vatican ID card! When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

Today, Pope Francis revealed in a new interview that the church has become "obsessed" with homosexuality, the gays and abortion. The interview, published in Rome-based Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, quotes the Pope stating that the Church needs to focus on its larger mission to be "home for all" and that the church should not "interfere spiritually" with the lives of others. "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," Francis said in the interview. "The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials."

America Magazine published the English translation of the 12,000-word interview with a few thoughts from Fr. James Martin. "He's very open honest and candid like we have not seen in a pope before. He critiques people who focus too much on tradition, who want to go to time in the past that does not exist anymore," said Fr. James Martin. "He reminds people that thinking with the church, in obedience, does not just mean thinking with the hierarchy, that church is a lot bigger than its hierarchy." That said, Pope Francis never comes outright in support of gay marriage, abortion rights or contraception. He states that the view of the church is "clear" but "the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives."

"A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality," said Pope Francis to Jesuit priest Fr. Antonio Spadaro, who conducted the interview for La Civilta Cattolica. "I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person." He also expanded on the role of women in the interview. "The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised."