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Locals react to recent comments made by Pope Francis
SCHENECTADY -- Just days after Pope Francis blasted the church's obsession with "small minded rules"that he says are driving the faithful away, shockwaves have been sent throughout the church as the Pope urges it's pastors to focus on being merciful and welcoming rather than insisting on hot-button issues like abortion gay marriage and contraception.
Catholics here in the Capital Region are speaking out.
"I think his comments are bringing awareness, I think his openness and his kindness is an invitation for those that might have been hurt or have felt pushed away from the church," says Pattie Vatale.
"It's about time that they opened up their eyes. they're always telling you to open up your heart, you know love your neighbor, but god forbid you're homosexual," says Gene Monaco.
The reaction to the Pope's words we've received has been mostly supportive, but it still comes with controversy.
"I was sort of thunderstruck by some of the things that he said. it's a very candid assessment of of the kind of pressures that he faces in his job and his response," says Father James Martin, with American Magazine.
At Saint Kateri's church in Schenectady, the Pope's comments were the message Sunday morning, urging everyone to re-read those comments and fully understand them before taking a stance.
"as Father Mike just said, the Pope's comments had some different understandings on both sides and I think that in order for us to understand we have to we have to go back and actually read what he has said in that interview," Vatale says.
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan is calling Pope Francis' recent comments a quote "breath of fresh air." Others simply saying it goes back to the roots of the church.
It's is a healing process, just like the hospital you go to the hospital to get better from an illness or an injury. you go to the church to confess your sins," says Monaco.
We reached out to the Albany Catholic Diocese for a comment, but have yet to receive one.