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WTH: Pope Francis Regarding Gays, ‘God Is Not Afraid of New Things’

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday, as he beatified Pope Paul VI who implemented the Second Vatican Council’s vast changes, called on the church to adapt to “changing conditions of society.”

His remarks took on added meaning as the bishops ended a two-week conference by rejecting landmark wording that would soften the church’s stance toward homosexuality and divorce.

“God is not afraid of new things,” Francis pointedly said during the beatification Mass.

Whether the document issued Saturday by the bishops is viewed as a setback for the pope, the conference did show the church can discuss difficult topics — such as the role of gays, lesbians and divorced Catholics. It also exposed a wide rift between conservative and liberal-minded leaders.

“The bishops did what Francis asked them to do, which was to talk about these topics in an open way with no issues left off the table,” said Robert Mickens, a veteran Vatican commentator with Global Pulse magazine, which focuses on Catholic affairs. “The plan was to take the bishop’s pulse on these issues, and in the end that’s what happened, and it accurately showed a split between reformers and conservatives.”

Read more: USA Today

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