(PatrioticPost.com)- During a press conference on Monday, Pope Francis said that intimate relations outside of marriage is “not the most serious sin.” Instead, the most serious sins are pride and hatred.
Pope Francis made this declaration after a reporter asked him about the resignation of Michel Aupetit, the Archbishop of Paris. Aupetit resigned last week over allegations of an “ambiguous” relationship with a woman. Though he denied their relationship was sexual in nature, Aupetit chose to resign to prevent the rumors from damaging the Church.
A spokeswoman from the diocese confirmed at the time that Aupetit was involved in “an ambiguous behavior” with a woman whom he was close to. However, the spokeswoman said the relationship was not a romantic or intimate one.
During his press conference on the flight back from a visit to Greece, Pope Francis decried the spread of gossip and how it harms the reputation of someone. He said in this environment, a “man will not be able to govern,” adding that this is “an injustice.”
He told reporters that he asked himself if what Aupetit did was so serious that he should have to resign. He said if the accusation is not known, it cannot be condemned, and he urged journalists to investigate it.
Pope Francis argued that “we know nothing” about what it is Archbishop Aupetit is supposed to have done. Instead, Aupetit was being condemned by rumors and public opinion.
Citing a breach of the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Pope Francis said it is “not total, but little caresses and massages he gave to his secretary.”
And while that is a sin, he explained, it is not the most serious sin because “sins of the flesh are not the most serious.”
He pointed out that all are sinners, including Aupetit, the pope, and even St. Peter “the bishop on whom Christ founded his Church.”
After Pope Francis accepted his resignation, Archbishop Aupetit said in a statement that he wanted to “protect the diocese from the division that always provokes suspicion and the loss of confidence.”