By Our Reporter
Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church, has said sex outside of marriage is not the “most serious” sin.
During a question and answer session with reporters on a flight back to Italy from Greece on Monday, the Pope said: “Sins of the flesh are not the most serious.”
Instead, he said that pride and hatred were “the most serious” of sins.
The Pope was also asked about the resignation of the Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, who offered to step down earlier this month after a French magazine claimed he had engaged in an intimate relationship with a woman.
Traditionally, Archbishops and higher members of the Catholic Church follow clerical celibacy, which means they abstain from sex.
The Archbishop denied the affair, and said: “I poorly handled the situation with a person who was in contact many times with me.”
The Pope, who accepted the Archbishop’s resignation, said “it was a failing on his part, a failing against the sixth commandment, but not a total one.”
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.
During the flight, the Pope said he removed the Archbishop due to “gossip”.
“We’re all sinners. When the gossip grows and grows and removes someone’s good name, he cannot govern,” he said.
“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.”