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Many readers have focused on Francis's comments on homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. He said, "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time." He explained that the dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. Instead of focusing on controversial issues all the time, he wants to give primacy to the preaching of the gospel: "A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing."

Women in the Church

Francis also said that the church lacks a profound theology of women. However, he also said, "I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of 'female machismo' [supremacy of women over men], because a woman has a different make-up than a man." But he also said that the church "cannot be herself without the woman and her role…. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman…. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions."

Pope Francis also talked about ecumenism, being hopeful rather than optimistic, his favorite poetry, literature, and films, and he even admitted to falling asleep while praying! He concluded with some remarks on prayer and the love and mercy of Christ: "Prayer for me is always a prayer full of memory, of recollection, even the memory of my own history or what the Lord has done in his church or in a particular parish…. But above all, I also know that the Lord remembers me. I can forget about him, but I know that he never, ever forgets me."

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