Pope reinforces traditional gender roles

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is seeking to reassure Catholic conservatives that he’s not a renegade bent on changing church doctrine on family issues — weeks after a Vatican meeting of bishops initially proposed a radical welcome for gays and divorced Catholics.

Francis on Monday opened an interfaith conference on the “complementarity” of men and women in marriage and the family. He said marriage between a man and woman is a “fundamental pillar” of society and that children have the right to grow up with a mother and father.

The three-day conference brings together representatives from 14 religions that teach that men and women have different and essential cooperative roles to play in marriage and the family. Speakers Tuesday include the Rev. Rick Warren, one of most prominent evangelical pastors in the United States, and the Rev. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination.

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