I saw this and was amused knowing full well the media was going to get teh wrong end of the stick and next thing be announcing the opening of St. Mary's of the Angels Abortion Clinic. I am, of course, being faectious.
Context is the issue.
The Church teaches that theiving is wrong, that lying is wrong, but its not in all the papers all the time and we don't harp on about it all the time. My reading into this, is the Pope isn't saying abortion et al isn't important, or isn't sinful, or is lesser than other issues, but rather he's saying that we focus so much on what is wrong that we're failing to be merciful to the people who commit these ills. Instead of constantly going on about these things being wrong, we need to place them in context, ie. why it is wrong, why it is hurtful, and most importantly what we, as a Church, should be doing to help these people.
Everyone knows the Church teaches that abortion et al is wrong, but do they know why? I think half of the Pope's statements are based on frustration, both at secular and Catholic media for constantly baggering him. Oh, why hasn't Papa Francis said abortion is bad, why isn't he talking about "gay marriage" since that's such a topical issue, oooh, maybe Papa Francis will let Catholics with HIV use condoms?
No, those teachings are not going to change. The Pope has said he's a son of the Church, he beleives in what the Church teaches on these issues, why would that change between Benedict and him? It won't. He's probably very sick of being asked abut this, So he's refrained the discussion to talk about the problems that cause women to get abortions, he's wanting us to talk about how contraception wounds the soul and perhaps talk abotu solutions, like NFP.
This whole thing is going to be a can of worms, but not because of what Papa Francis said, btu because of the spin that will be put on it, by both the secular media, and the extreme catholic elements that seem to think, as the saying goes, "they're more catholic than the Pope".
There is no doctrinial change. No removal of the evil that these things bring to society. THis is not devaluing human life, or the sancity of Marriage, its simply the Pope calling for people to view the sinner not the sin, and to view them with the love and compassion and mercy Christ has for them. We need to welcome them lovingly, we need to assist them with charity, and we need to correct them withc compassion and mercy.
Otherwise, we're just being self-righteous jerks.