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The Francis Chronicles

Pope to bishops: Guard the faith, build hope, love sinners as they are

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Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.

Their vocation is not to be wardens of a failed estate, "but custodians of Evangelii Gaudium ["The Joy of the Gospel"]; therefore, you cannot be without the only treasure we really have to give, and that the world cannot give itself: the joy of God's love," he told new bishops.

Pope: Just as God freely offers salvation, don't give hoping to benefit

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Christians are called to help those who have nothing to give and love those who don't love back, Pope Francis said.

Salvation and changing the world for the better require "doing good to those who aren't able to repay us, just like the Father did with us, giving us Jesus," the pope said at his weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.

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