Pope’s blunt remarks pose challenge for US bishops

NEW YORK (AP) — Pope Francis’ call to focus less on divisive social issues poses a challenge for U.S. bishops.

Roman Catholic leaders in America have adopted a more aggressive style of defending the faith in recent years. They said they had to because society was moving so far from traditional beliefs on marriage and other issues.

But on Thursday, Francis said the church was putting too much emphasis on abortion, gay marriage and contraception. The pope said it’s driving people away.

The few American bishops who have commented so far on the pope’s interview haven’t indicated any immediate plan to change what they talk about or how they say it. But some theologians say some change will have to happen since Francis is determined to not be a culture warrior.

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