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Pope Francis' News, Quotes: Will New Pope's Reality Check Resonate with Latinos?

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First Posted: Sep 24, 2013 02:45 PM EDT
Pope Francis
Pope Francis looks on as he leads a mass outside the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari September 22, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

It would be an understatement to say that the Catholic Church has had its share of scrutiny and hypocrisy involving its stance on abortion, contraception and gay marriage. In a recent interview with America Magazine, Pope Francis, an Argentine of Italian heritage, addressed these issues, leaving the world and devoted fellow Latinos wondering if the church will indeed implement change and welcome true acceptance.

Pope Francis shared his perspective on the church: “I see the church as a field hospital after battle,” Francis said. “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars. You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else."

Compassion is a common thread with devoted Catholic Latinos, which leads to the question, does the Pope's vision resonate with Latinos?

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Cecilia González-Andrieu, an associate professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, shared her thoughts with The New York Times.

"The results of recent elections and polls demonstrate that, along with Pope Francis, Latino Catholics have a profound commitment to building up the common good," she noted. "We believe in legislation that cares for the vulnerable and the sick, feeds the hungry, unites families, ensures educational equity and protects the rights of workers. Latinos would like the church to become a force to help lift up the vulnerable and heal their wounds in real and tangible ways," González-Andrieu added.

Pope Francis also addressed the acceptance of gays in the church, which can be a tricky topic for more conservative Latinos. “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person.”

USA Today also took a closer look at the public's reaction by collecting some "controversial yet admirable" reactions to Pope Francis from Facebook and Twitter.

@mrpazoo tweeted, "It is all about money and numbers. Pope Francis has just read the signs and sees how these issues are driving people away. The church is bound and determined to keep power and money. That is why we are seeing this shift."

@southbronxirish tweeted, "I really do love Pope Francis. He shows that the Catholic Church should be an accepting and open church."

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