The Francis Chronicles
Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis said.
At his weekly general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his series of audience talks about the church, telling an estimated 33,000 people that there is no such thing as "do-it-yourself" Christians or "free agents" when it comes to faith.
Every Christian, he said, can trace his or her faith back to parents, grandparents, teachers or friends. "I always remember the nun who taught me catechism. I know she's in heaven because she was a holy woman," he said.
In the stronghold of an Italian crime syndicate believed to be richer and more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, Pope Francis said, "Those who follow the path of evil, like the mafiosi do, are not in communion with God; they are excommunicated!"
During a Mass Saturday in the southern region of Calabria, Pope Francis made clear that even if the mob families continue to go to Mass and decorate their homes and hideouts with religious pictures, they have cut themselves off from communion with the church and with God.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis
For everyone who has any kind of authority over others, the one sin "at your fingertips" is the sin of corruption, Catholic News Service reported Pope Francis as saying.
And "the martyrs of corruption" -- those who end up paying the price for the politicians, financiers and church officials who abuse their power -- are the poor and the marginalized, he said during his early morning Mass June 16. "Corrupt politicians, corrupt businessmen, and corrupt church leaders -- they're everywhere," he said.
The Francis Chronicles: Pope Francis said legalizing marijuana and other "recreational drugs" has little impact on the criminal organizations trafficking drugs around the world.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
Jesus is the living bread that can satisfy a person's deepest yearnings, Pope Francis said on the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
"Besides physical hunger, people have another hunger, one that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food," the pope said Thursday. "It is the hunger for life, hunger for love [and] hunger for eternity."
The Francis Chronicles: "There is no sickness whatsoever. If there was, we would be open about that and asking people to pray for him."