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The Francis Chronicles

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Poverty stems from unjust economic system, not big families, pope says

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Families who have lots of children do not cause poverty, Pope Francis said.

The main culprit is "an economic system that has removed the human person from its focus and has placed the god of money" as its priority instead, he said Wednesday.

The pope dedicated his general audience talk to a review of some of the highlights from his Jan. 13-19 visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Speaking to an estimated 7,000 people gathered in the Paul VI audience hall, the pope recalled his second apostolic journey to Asia after visiting South Korea in August.

Pope Francis to moms: It's OK to breast-feed in public

While baptizing 33 babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, Pope Francis urged mothers to breast-feed their infants if they were hungry.

"Mothers, give your children milk -- even now," Francis said. "If they cry because they are hungry, breast-feed them, don't worry."

The pope departed from his prepared text, which included the phrase "give them milk," and inserted the Italian term allattateli, which means "breast-feed them."

The celebration took place to mark the day Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan River.

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