Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church, says sex outside of marriage is not the “most serious sin”. Rather, argues the Pope, the most serious sins are pride and hatred.
The 84 year-old Pontiff made the remarks during a question and answer session with reporters aboard the papal plane on a flight back to Italy from Greece on Monday.
He was responding to question about the Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, who resigned over allegations that he was intimately involved with a woman which contradicts the Roman Catholic Church priesthood vows of celibacy – a requirement that all Catholic priests must abstain from sex.
While retaining his innocence, the Archbishop resigned from his role with the Pope saying the Archbishop fell “against the sixth commandment, but not a total one”, according to a report by The Independent.
The sixth commandment says “you shall not commit adultery”, which applies to people having sex outside of their marriages but the Pope suggested it could apply to priests who don’t stay celibate.
“[Adultery] is a sin. But it is not the most serious because sins of the flesh are not the most serious… Aupetit is a sinner. As I am, as was Peter, the bishop on whom Christ founded his Church”, Pope Francis has been quoted as saying by the Mail Online.
The Pontiff had previously previously said that the Catholic church may consider permitting married priests to work in remote areas faced with a shortage of priests.
He recently drew controversy when he said all Christians must apologise to gay people and everyone who indulges in homosexuality.