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Sex outside marriage is not a serious sin – Pope Francis

The sin of adultery is not the most serious, says Pope Francis.

Pope says sex outside of marriage is ‘not the most serious’ sin because sins of the flesh are not the most serious,’ Francis told reporters.
Speaking to reporters, the pontiff said “sins of the flesh are not the most serious,” referring to sex outside of marriage.

The leader of the Catholic Church said pride and hatred were the ‘most serious’ sins, ‘Sins of the flesh are not the most serious,’ the 84-year-old pontiff said during a press conference aboard the papal plane on its return to Rome from a trip to Cyprus and Greece on Monday. Pride and hatred are ‘the most serious,’ His Holiness added.

Francis made the comment in answer to a question about the Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit who resigned last week over an ‘ambiguous’ relationship with a woman.

The 70-year-old cleric, who is bound by the Church’s celibacy rule, denied any intimate relationship with the unnamed woman, although Aupetit acknowledged his behavior may have been ambiguous.

“It was a failing against the sixth commandment (You shall not commit adultery) but not a total one, one of small caresses, massage given to his secretary — that is what the accusation is,” said Francis. “There is a sin there but not the worst kind.”

Francis said he accepted the resignation not because Aupetit had sinned but because gossip had left the archbishop in a position where he could no longer govern the diocese, adding that Aupetit had been the victim of “an injustice.”

“He (the bishop) was condemned but by whom? By public opinion, by gossip .. he could no longer govern,” he added.

The 84-year-old leader of the Catholic Church said everyone was a sinner, including himself: “Aupetit is a sinner. As I am, as was Peter, the bishop on whom Christ founded his Church.”

Francis said he still did not have all the details of the case and expected to get them from French bishops when they visit the Vatican soon to discuss a recent report on clerical sexual abuse in the country.

“I accepted the resignation of Aupetit not on the altar of truth, but on the altar of hypocrisy,” the Pope said.


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