S*x outside marriage ‘not the most serious sin’, Pope Francis says

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Pope Francis now says that sex outside marriage is not the “most serious” sin.

The 84-year-old pontiff made the remarks during a question-and-answer session with reporters, as he addressed the October release of an incriminating report into child sexual abuse by French Catholic clergy.

“That is a sin. But it is not the most serious because sins of the flesh are not the most serious,” he said on Monday.

The inquiry, conducted by an independent commission, highlighted how minors were abused by French priests dating back to the 1950s.

“When we do this kind of study, we must be attentive to the interpretation we make of it,” the Pope told reporters on board his flight en route to Italy from Greece as quoted by AFP.
“Abuse 100 years ago, 70 years ago, was brutality. But the way it was experienced is not the same as today,” he said.

Despite not having read the report himself, Pope Francis stated that he will sit down with French bishops, when they visit him later this month, to discuss the fine details of the ‘shameful” inquiry.

The Pope similarly criticized the recent resignation of Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit, over allegations that he was engaging in a sexual relationship with a woman. Aupetit has vehemently denied the claims.

“When the gossip grows, grows, grows and takes away the reputation of a person, that man will not be able to govern… and that is an injustice,” Pope Francis said.“This is why I accepted Aupetit’s resignation, not on the altar of truth, but on the altar of hypocrisy.”

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