Malacañang Photo Bureau/WikiCommons

Pope Francis is one of the most famous religious leaders in the world. His words carry great weight and set the tone on how many people react to moral matters. While traveling from Greece to Italy, Pope Francis spoke with reporters on the papal plane as they asked a few questions. The religious leader claimed that there are worse sins than extramarital sex.

“Sins of the flesh are not the most serious,” Pope Francis commented about sex external to marriage. According to Reuters, he then said that the worst sins are pride and hatred.

These controversial answers from the press interaction come after Michel Aupetit, a French archbishop who resigned following his relations with a woman that was made public. Despite his resignation, the 70-year-old Paris native initially rejected the claim that he broke his vow to celibacy. However, Aupetit later gave a public apology for his actions.

“I ask forgiveness from those I might have hurt,” he said in a Thursday statement. “I have been deeply troubled by the attacks on me. I pray for those who, maybe, have wished bad things onto me, as Christ has taught us.”

This matter brings in the sixth amendment of Catholicism which commands against committing any adultery, which includes extramarital sex. However, Francis advised that the amendment applies to priests who break their celibacy. Pope Francis commented on the matter, sharing his thoughts on the sins of the act.

“It was a failing against the sixth commandment (You shall not commit adultery) but not a total one, one of small caresses, massage given to his secretary — that is what the accusation is,” the 84-year-old Pope explained. “There is a sin there but not the worst kind.”

The Pope was asked why he relieved Archbishop Michel Aupetit from his duties during the press question session. “This is an injustice. That’s why I accepted the resignation of Aupetit: not on the altar of truth but on the altar of hypocrisy,” the Pope answered.

According to the media outlets present, Pope Francis expressed that, “We’re all sinners. When the gossip grows and grows and removes someone’s good name, he cannot govern.” The Pope concluded that Archbishop Aupetit was removed because he lost the people’s trust, not because of his actual wrongdoings.

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