Catholicism can and must change, Francis forcefully tells Italian church gathering / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has strongly outlined a new, comprehensive vision for the future of the Catholic church, forcefully telling an emblematic meeting of the entire Italian church community here that our times require a deeply merciful Catholicism that is unafraid of change.

In a 49-minute speech to a decennial national conference of the Italian church — which is bringing together some 2,200 people from 220 dioceses to this historic renaissance city for five days — Francis said Catholics must realize: ‘We are not living an era of change but a change of era.’

“‘Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, interrogatives — but is alive, knows being unsettled, enlivened,’ said the pope. ‘It has a face that is not rigid, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: it is called Jesus Christ.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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