The Washington Times - November 12, 2013, 04:31PM

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, says she’s been taken aback by some of Pope Francis’s “liberal” statements but that she needs to dig into their context further to eliminate any possible media filter.

“He’s had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, have taken me aback, have kind of surprised me,” Mrs. Palin told CNN. “But unless I really dig deep into what his messaging is, and do my own homework, I’m not going to just trust what I hear in the media.”

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The pontiff has drawn headlines for, among other things, encouraging Christians to engage with atheists, urging tolerance for gays, and writing in an Italian newspaper that non-believers must “abide by their own conscience” and “that God’s mercy has no limits.”

Mrs. Palin described herself in the interview as a “born again” and attends a non-denominational church in Alaska. But she also recalled seeing the beauty of her home state when she was about 12 years old and realizing there was a greater power.

“I put my life in God’s hands at that time,” she said. “I remember calling out to God and saying, ‘I believe you.’”

“There’s been a lot of things that have surprised us in our family life that, if I did not have that faith, I don’t know how I would be standing today — I don’t know how I would really have that…strength to continue on, some days,” she continued. “My faith is everything to me.”