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The Francis Chronicles

Pope: Professing the faith without good works is just spouting hot air

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Understanding God's commandments and church doctrine is useless if those truths aren't put into practice, Pope Francis said.

"A faith without bearing fruit in life, a faith that doesn't bear fruit in works is not faith," the pope said in a Mass homily, focusing on the day's first reading from the Book of James (2:14-24).

Professing the faith without giving a witness makes the Gospel "words and nothing more than words," he said Friday during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

Pope: By taking care of elders, families show world all life has value

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Pope Francis said the worst thing about growing old is not becoming weaker or infirm, but the "abandonment, the exclusion, the deprivation of love" in today's "throwaway culture."

The pope's remarks came in a written message sent to bioethicists, scientists, healthcare professionals, religious, theologians and other experts attending the Pontifical Academy for Life's workshop Thursday and Friday on "Aging and Disability."

Go directly to confession, don't wait, pope says at audience

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If you haven't been to confession recently, don't wait, Pope Francis told people at his weekly general audience. One may walk into the confessional with a heavy heart, but forgiveness brings freedom and lightness.

"If a lot of time has passed, don't lose even one more day. Go," the pope said Wednesday, promising that "the priest will be good. Jesus will be there and he's even nicer than the priest."

"Be courageous. Go to confession," the pope told an estimated 20,000 people at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Pope renews Argentine passport, identity card

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Pope Francis is the sovereign of Vatican City and has a Holy See passport. But even dressed in papal white, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is an Argentine citizen with a brand new passport and national identity card.

"The pope wanted to continue having normal Argentine documents," said Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. "This doesn't mean that he isn't also the head of state of Vatican City and the pontiff."

Facing the truth about ourselves is a step toward holiness, pope says

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Being truthful about what is in one's heart isn't always easy, but it is an essential step to living a good and holy life, Pope Francis told members of a parish on the western outskirts of Rome.

"I think it would do us good today to think about not whether our souls are clean or soiled, but to ask, 'What is in my heart? What do I hold inside that I know and no one else does?'" the pope said Sunday during an evening Mass at the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle.

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In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014

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