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Pope now says Vatican doesn't "impose nothing on anyone"

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In what appears to be a major, unprecedented change in policy, the Pope now says that the Catholic Church doesn't want to impose anything on anyone:

"You know well that the church wishes to impose nothing on anyone, and that she merely asks to live in freedom," the pope said at Istanbul's Holy Spirit Cathedral, where he was joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.
Given this new standard, the Catholic hierachy needs to stop its hate-filled anti-gay lobbying as well as opposition to birth control and choice. It's welcome news on World AIDS day, if the pope isn't just spinning.

The Catholic Church in the U.S. puts an enormous amount of time and resources in to fighting any legislative proposal seeking to end discrimination against gays and lesbians. The Church has also worked to prevent the distribution of condoms despite their proven life-saving capacity in the fight against AIDS. Now that the pope says the church doesn't impose its will on anyone, they have to back off.

Now, of course, Benedict, the Prada-wearing Pope, will come up with some clarification allowing the church to impose its will on sex issues. But for now, taken at his word, this is welcome news. The world should hold Benedict and his church to this pronouncement.

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