A year on, Pope Francis faces challenges meeting reform hopes

Pope Francis celebrates mass during Ash Wednesday at Santa Sabina Basilica in RomeBy Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor (Reuters) – In the year since his surprise election, Pope Francis has raised so many hopes of imminent changes in Church teaching that managing all those expectations is going to be a challenge. The Argentine-born pontiff has caught world attention by suggesting he might ease the Catholic Church's strict rules on divorce, birth control, married or women priests and gay unions. Off-the-cuff comments such as "who am I to judge?" about gays has contrasted with the more distant style of his predecessors John Paul and Benedict. But while his words and public appearances have struck a chord with many Catholics, anyone hoping for a quick turnaround on those headline-grabbers is likely to be disappointed, said Boston College theologian Richard Gaillardetz.



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