He has been silent on the issues of abortion and contraception which has irked a lot of ranking people in the church. His point is that these things don’t need to dominate conversation in the church, but that the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be the main focus.
This sounds almost evangelical. Not demanding the rules and traditions be followed to the letter but rather focusing more on the spiritual rather than the religious. Evangelicals consider themselves to be spiritual but not religious.
He said the Church had become tied up in "small-minded rules" and risked losing its true purpose.
"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible,'' he said.
Of course there are inherent scriptural problems in allowing gays as priests and bishops, and to allow them into the church but not into the priesthood will not fly with gay lobbies pushing for those rights.
The Pope has a bigger problem, though. Change is almost anathema to the Catholic Church – it only comes in a glacier-like movement. If Francis pushes too hard and too fast, he will alienate too many Bishops and Cardinals. He may well put himself in danger of being declared an anti-pope, or worse.