I left the Roman Catholic Church about 5 years ago because of stuff like this, and for everyone's general information, I did peruse the entire letter that Francis I wrote. I left said Church primarily because of the incoherent insanity that was both Vatican I & II, as well as reading some antiquated Papal Bulls that are still celebrated to this day, one particular of note being Unigenitus, which was a condemnation of the Jansenist priest Pasquier Quesnel for, among other things, suggesting that women be permitted to read the scriptures.
The idea of the pontiff entertaining simply asserting that people listen to their consciences without any assessment of what the state of their respective consciences actual are is foolhardy at best, and dangerous at worst. And for all of you saying that this was just a letter to the editor and not official doctrine, this is a false distinction. Any leader of any flock under the Christian faith commits apostasy if he contradicts the general tenets of the faith. The Bishop of Rome (Christ has no vicar, though I do believe that Rome's historic role as first among equals was valid during every properly observed ecumenical council) should be calling for faith and repentance, not placating the church's enemies for the sake of political popularity or expediency.
“My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” - G.K. Chesterton
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