He reached out to three disaffected groups in the Church in an impromptu press conference aboard the papal plane: Gays, divorced and remarried people and women.
And in response to a question about gay priests whom he called his brothers, Pope Francis told reporters, "Who am I to judge?"
“It's a sea change because we have not seen a pope do it in very colloquial, familiar language,” says CNN Contributor Catholic Priest Father Edward Beck.
“He really said I want you to be part of us by what he did.”
Father Beck says Pope Francis is going to collaborate with a council of eight cardinals to advise him on whether divorced people should be able to get communion, and “put on the agenda this issue of…pastoral care of marriage.”
About women, he said “it should be more than tokenism,” Father Beck explains. “They need real leadership positions. He said the Church is feminine.”