Pope Francis urges Catholics to be guided by conscience

The Pope has said that individual conscience should be the guiding principle for Catholics negotiating the complexities of sex, marriage and mfamily life in a major document that rejects the emphasis on black-and-white rules for the faithful.

Pope Francis has urged the role of the human conscience in guiding Catholics around the world. Picture: AP Photo

In the 256-page document The Joy Of Love, Francis makes no change in church doctrine, but in selectively citing his predecessors and emphasising his own teachings, he makes clear that he wants a revolution in the way priests accompany Catholics.

He says the church must no longer sit in judgment and “throw stones” against those who fail to live up to the Gospel’s ideals of marriage and family life.

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He said of the church: “We have been called to form consciences, not replace them.”