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Pope Francis on abortion, gay marriage, priestly sex abuse, and more

Pope Francis tackled many hot-button issues before being elected pope: The practice of shuffling pedophile priests was 'stupid,' feminism is 'machismo in skirts,' priestly celibacy 'could change,' and more.

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Pope Francis (c.) poses with the Swiss guard band at the Vatican April 23.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

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Before he became pope, Francis spoke his mind about many of the most sensitive topics the Roman Catholic church faces today. Here is a sampling from "On Heaven and Earth," published in 2012, and his authorized biography "The Jesuit," published in 2010 and republished last month as "Pope Francis. Conversations with Jorge Mario Bergoglio."

PRIESTLY CELIBACY: Roman Catholic priests take vows of celibacy. Some Catholics say they should be allowed to marry, like Eastern Rite Catholic priests.

"For the moment I'm in favor of maintaining celibacy, with its pros and cons, because there have been 10 centuries of good experiences rather than failures. It's a question of discipline, not of faith. It could change."

 

CLERGY ABUSE: Francis says punishing the priest is more important than protecting the church's image.

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