POPE FRANCIS WAVES TO WELL-WISHERS NEXT TO PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO BEFORE BOARDING A PLANE AT VILLAMOR AIR BASE IN PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA

Rick Santorum: ‘Very Difficult to Listen to’ Pope Francis

by Jennifer G. Hickey  |  published on January 23, 2015

Potential Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he often finds it “very difficult” to listen to Pope Francis, particularly when he makes “off the cuff” and impromptu comments, such as he did when he commented to reporters on a Monday flight from the Philippines that the ban on contraception does not mean Catholics should breed “like rabbits.”

“Sometimes very difficult to listen to the Pope and some of the things he says off the cuff, and this is one of them,” Santorum, a devout Catholic, said Tuesday during an appearance on “The Hugh Hewitt” radio program.

“When he speaks as the leader of the Catholic Church, I’ll certainly pay attention. But when he speaks in interviews, he’s giving his own opinions, which I certainly will listen to, but from my perspective, that doesn’t reflect the idea that people shouldn’t be fruitful and multiply, and that people should be open to life as something that is a core value of the faith and of the Catholic Church,” said the former Pennsylvania senator.

When asked by Hewitt, who also is a practicing Catholic, whether Pope Francis’ comments might lead to confusion and provide ammunition to the opponents of the Church’s position on birth control, Santorum dismissed any chance the Church would alter its stance.

“No, well look, the bottom line is that’s not going to happen. I don’t think anyone who seriously looks at this believes that it’s not possible to happen. I mean, the Pope is the Pope, but the Pope has a lot of other people around him who advise him. And you know, the most important thing is that as a Catholic, I believe he has the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit isn’t going to let him make that kind of mistake,” he contended.

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