Pope Francis made waves recently when he said that the Catholic Church has concentrated too much on homosexuality, abortion, and birth control. He called for a new balance between politics and faith. The pope added that women should have a greater role in the church.
While the comments don't change church doctrine, it's a welcome change in tone from the hard line social conservatism of Popes Benedict and John Paul II. Many Boston area Catholics have found such uncompromising positions difficult to rectify among the lingering images of the priest abuse scandal. Almost 250 Boston area priests were accused of abusing children, church attendance went down 15 percent, and in 2004 65 parishes closed. Less than 40 percent of Massachusetts residents identify as Catholic, according to a recent survey- a far cry from 1990 when that number was more than half.
Boston Globe columnist and former priest James Carroll and Svea Fraser, the first female Catholic chaplain at Wellesley College and founder of Voice of the Faithful, joined Greater Boston to talk about the changing tide in the Church.