Carbondale pastor reacts to new mindset among Catholics - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Carbondale pastor reacts to new mindset among Catholics

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

The Catholic Church teaches that premarital sex, gay marriage and divorce are wrong.

However, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, American Catholics don't all believe these are sins. 

Some Heartland pastors are calling the new mindset a positive change.

"We still give guidelines and moral guidelines,” said Pastor Bob Flannery of Saint Francis Xavior Catholic Church in Carbondale. "But at the same time we have to be compassionate and merciful and help people in the best way that we can so that they feel included,” he said.

A survey by the Pew Research Center reveals when it comes to living together without walking down the aisle first, 65 percent polled said it is not a sin.

While traditional family values are still ideal, 87 percent of those polled said they are accepting of single parents and 7 out of 10 agree divorce is not a sin.

Le'Mark Russell agreed there needs to be more acceptance in the church.

"Just because it's not in the bible doesn't mean that you should turn them away from the church,” said Russell.

From abortion to contraception, Russel said the change reflects Pope Francis' modern view, and they're in favor of his nonjudgmental approach.

"He realizes he needs to bring his church into the 21st century or risk falling further into irrelevancy,” said Russell.

"To me it not being lenient, it's being pastoral. Many if not most, most priests have been preaching this anyway and it is good to know that we have the backing of the Holy Father,” said Pastor Flannery.

Gay Catholics are also gaining acceptance.

Fifty-percent of Catholics say it's not a sin, although that number did drop to 27 percent among those who attend Mass regularly.

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