October 24, 2015 / 6:59 PM / 3 years ago

Pope criticizes 'closed hearts' at bishops' gathering

Pope Francis leaves after leading the synod on the family in the Synod hall at the Vatican, October 24, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis appeared on Saturday to criticize ultra-conservatives after bishops ended a three-week gathering that softened the Church’s doctrine on divorcees but maintained its strict line toward homosexuals.

In a speech, the pope said Church leaders should confront difficult issues “fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.”

He said the synod had “laid bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families”.

Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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