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The Francis Chronicles

Pope, Orthodox patriarch express commitment for unity

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Pope Francis and the patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch expressed their desire to work toward full communion of the two churches.

The pope met with Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II at the Vatican Friday. This was Aphrem's first official visit with Francis. The two church leaders spoke privately, after which each gave a public discourse.

Pope: If you let greed into your heart, all other vices will follow

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If you give the key to your heart to greed, it will leave the door wide open to vanity, arrogance and all of the other vices, squeezing God out of the way, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

Wealth isn't "a statue" that stands inert and has no impact on a person, the pope said Friday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

"Wealth has the tendency to grow, to move around, to take a place in one's life and heart," and once it moves in, fanning the desire to always accumulate more, the heart becomes "corrupted," he said.

Pope Francis: Seek forgiveness for shutting out refugees

Pope Francis on Wednesday said people who shut out refugees should seek forgiveness, after clashes on Italy’s borders as European countries try to push back against a wave of migrants fleeing by boat from Libya.

Addressing crowds in St. Peter’s Square, Francis drew his followers’ attention to the U.N.’s World Refugee Day this Saturday.

Pope Francis: Christian hope does not let sting of death poison your life

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Christian hope and faith in the afterlife mean the sting of losing a loved one does not have to leave behind a poisonous venom in our lives, Pope Francis said.

"Our loved ones have not disappeared into dark nothingness: Hope assures us that that they are in God's good and strong hands. Love is stronger than death," he said at his general audience Wednesday.

As part of a series of talks about the family and problems they face, the pope looked at death, particularly the loss of a close family member.

Pope Francis: Concern for poor is sign of Gospel, not red flag of communism

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Focusing on poverty and sacrificing for the poor are the heart of the Gospel, not signs of communism, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

Furthermore, if Christians don't dig deep and generously open up their wallets, they do not have "genuine faith," the pope said Tuesday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

He said people often hear, "Oh, this priest speaks about poverty too much, this bishop talks about poverty, this Christian, this sister talk about poverty. Well, they're a bit communist, aren't they?"

Pope: God offers everyone his mercy as safe haven, door to salvation

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God offers his mercy to everyone, showing his deep desire that everyone be saved, Pope Francis said.

Divine mercy is a safe and certain "shelter for whoever is weak and does not presume to save himself on his own," the pope said Friday, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Addressing the World Seminar for Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplaincies at the Vatican, the pope said airports are like "cities within cities" where chaplains meet people from many nations, cultures and religions.

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