Pope Francis says Church should keep 'open door' for sinners
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis on Saturday said the Catholic Church should not be closed off to sinners like a "pastoral customs house", giving as an example baptisms for the children of unmarried mothers.
"We are often controllers of the faith instead of facilitators," the Pope said at a mass in the Vatican residence where he has stayed since being elected instead of moving into the papal home.
The 76-year-old Argentine Pontiff gave as an example a priest who turned down a baptism for a child born to a single mother, according to a summary of his homily at the closed-door ceremony provided by Vatican radio.
"This woman had the courage to continue her pregnancy and not send her child back to sender. And what does she find? A closed door!" he said.