Last month Pope Francis held his first meeting with a special group of cardinals to consider ways to reform the Vatican bureaucracy after saying in a newspaper interview that the Vatican had become too self-interested and needed to be inclusive.
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I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society”Pope Francis
"Excessive centralisation, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church's life and her missionary outreach," he says in the latest document.
He also says he does not believe that the papacy "should be expected to offer a definitive or complete word on every question which affects the Church and the world".
This month the Vatican launched an unprecedented survey of the views of lay Catholics on modern family life and sexual ethics.
[COLOR=#333333][FONT=Arial]The document does restate the Church's opposition to abortion but concedes that "it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations,... especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty".