A senior bishop in the Catholic Church made a strong statement in favor of reform on Tuesday, telling the Florence-based La Nazione newspaper that leaders should be more open-minded about the hotly debated issues of priest celibacy, communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, and policy towards the gay community.
“My wish for the Italian Church is that it is able to listen without any taboo to the arguments in favor of married priests, the Eucharist for the divorced, and homosexuality," said Nunzio Galantino, who is the secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference (CEI), according to The Tablet.
His statement echoes the tone of Pope Francis' iconic remark, "Who am I to judge?" and follows a church survey on global attitudes towards important issues.
In October, bishops will discuss Church teachings on these policies at the Extraordinary Synod for the Family.
Pope Francis said in September that the church has become "obsessed" with the issues of gays, abortion, and contraception, to its detriment, and must focus on its larger mission to be a "home for all."
Galantino agrees. He commented, "In the past we have concentrated too much on abortion and euthanasia. It mustn’t be this way because in the middle there’s real life which is constantly changing."
Will the Church really change? Galantino is hopeful that under Pope Francis, it will. "With Pope Francis the Italian Church has an extraordinary opportunity to reposition itself on spiritual moral and cultural beliefs," he said.