Pope Francis considered this Monday that “the sins of the flesh are not the gravest”, when explaining to the press the reasons why he decided to accept the resignation of the now former Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, accused of inappropriate behavior with a woman.
“What has Aupetit done so serious to give me the resignation? If we do not know the accusation, we cannot condemn. Do the investigation. If you know what he did, say so,” the pontiff told reporters on the return flight from Athens to Rome .
In this sense, the Pope pointed out: “There was a failure towards the sixth commandment, not total, of small caresses and massages, which he did to the secretary. This is a sin, but not one of the most serious. The sins of the flesh are not they are the most serious, “said the pontiff.
According to Catholic tradition, the so-called sixth commandment assures “You shall not commit impure acts.”
For the Pope, in this framework, the most serious sins “are those with the most angelicity: pride, hatred”, exemplified.
Thus, for the Pope, “Aupetit is a sinner, as I am, as was Peter, the bishop on whom Jesus Christ founded the Church.”
In any case, the Pope criticized the curial behavior in these cases and stated: “Our church is not used to seeing a sinful bishop. We pretend and say: ‘My bishop is a Saint'”.
In this context, the pontiff asserted that “gossip grows, grows, grows and takes away fame from a person, who loses it not because of sin, but because of the gossip of those who are responsible for telling things.”
“And after they took away your fame so publicly, you cannot govern. That is why I accepted his resignation. But not on the altar of truth, but on that of hypocrisy,” he added.
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During the return flight after a five-day tour of the Mediterranean, the Pope also assured that, for the moment, he did not read the recent report of an independent French commission on abuses in that country in the last 40 years and that he hopes Let it be the French bishops who will explain it to him shortly.
“When these studies are made, we must be careful in the interpretation in which they become close in time. When they are done after such a long time, there is the risk of confusing the way of feeling of the time, 70 years before the another. I want to say this as a principle: a historical situation must be interpreted with the hermeneutics of the time, not ours“, argument.
“For example, slavery. We say: ‘A brutality’. The abuses of 100 and 70 years ago, we say: ‘A brutality’. But the way they lived it is not the same as it is today. Abuses in the Church were to cover, which is the way that is unfortunately used in families too. And we say that this does not work, that we must discover, “he said.