News

O’Malley: Pope softens church tone, not stance

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is widely considered to be Pope Francis’ closest American adviser.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is widely considered to be Pope Francis’ closest American adviser.Credit: Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

This is a summary. To read the whole story subscribe to BostonGlobe.com

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley says he shares in the sense of wonder at how swiftly Pope Francis has captured the world’s attention and softened, with his sometimes startling words and personal gestures, the image of the Roman Catholic chirch.

But he cautions that those with high expectations that the shift in tone presages major changes in church teachings on contraception, abortion, homosexuality and other flashpoint issues are likely to be disapppointed.

“I don’t see the pope as changing doctrine,’’ O’Malley said in an interview with the Globe, though he said the pontiff’s focus on compassion and mercy over doctrinal purity has reverberated powerfully throughout the church.

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston and the closest American adviser to the popular new pontiff, O’Malley said says it would also be unrealistic to expect the church to consider allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the sacraments, even though Francis himself once appeared to signal openness to the idea.

Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.

Get the full story with unlimited access to BostonGlobe.com.

Just 99 cents for four weeks.

Share