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Pope Francis' Vision of a More Pastoral Catholic Church

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Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis has made a push toward his vision of a more pastoral and less doctrinaire Catholic Church.

We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards.

The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small–minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you."

Those words from Pope Francis to a Jesuit journal earlier this week have created a lot of buzz over shifting attitudes in the Roman Catholic Church.

But area Catholics we spoke to say it's a change in emphasis, not in the Church's teachings.

Father Tim Biren says, "It seems like he taking more of the pastoral approach to ministry. He says he's the Son of the church. But he's following the church's teachings in a pastoral church that we may have not seen as of late."

Lately, politics have placed a premium on conservative stances on abortion, homosexuality and contraceptives – a fact the Pope believes is distracting from the core message of the faith.

However, Catholics don't think it's as big of a deal as some have made it out to be.

MSU student, Thomas Ripplinger says, "Pope Francis is really proclaiming the love that Christ and he's really focusing on that instead of the issues and I know that people and the media are saying that he's trying to change that and I believe that's a complete misinterpretation of his words."