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(CNN)Pope Francis put his shoulder to the doors of the Catholic Church and shoved them open a little wider Friday, calling for the church to be more tolerant in practice while not changing any official doctrines.
He urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers "irregular" situations.
"A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws ... as if they were stones to throw at people's lives," Francis writes in a sweeping paper outlining his stance on family matters.
He urges more common sense and less unthinking following of rules.
Pope Francis’ open and friendly communication style has stirred interest globally, especially among communication-study specialists. Much attention has been focused on his personal style in communications, but he is also developing and implementing a new style of communications within the church itself. When the pope urged candid discussions at the recent assemblies of the Synod of Bishops on the family, it was interesting to see how this worked and where it proved challenging among church leaders.
Nessan, from Ireland, Ed, from The Netherlands, and CCRI invite you to join them in sending the letter below to Pope Francis. Please use the form below the letter to sign it.
From Professor Leonard Swidler
I urge all of you to sign AND forward this petition to all of your networks, urging them to likewise sign and share widely.
Actually, over a year ago I had an email conversation with Hans’ and my former colleague Cardinal Kasper (not Joseph Ratzinger—I don’t have his email address), urging him to use his influence with Pope Francis to name Hans a Cardinal (as happened to John Henry Newman while he was still alive by Pope Leo XIII).
April’s OMG! has Springtime renewal bursting throughout! Hans Küng writes an Open Letter to Pope Francis on Infallibility. Tom Doyle takes readers to the investigation that gave birth to the Oscar-wining movie “Spotlight.” Two new contributors share historical perspectives on Plato’s influence on Catholicism and more meaningful liturgies. Read more now at www.omgjournal.org.