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The Francis Chronicles

Pope Francis' first Lenten message to focus on poverty, generosity

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Pope Francis has chosen the theme, "He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich," for this year's Lenten message, said a Vatican statement Friday.

The theme comes from a verse from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, where the apostle is promoting generosity in giving and wishes to "test the genuineness of your love by your concern for others."

The full verse reads: "For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich" (2 Cor 8:9).

Francis calls for doctrine within the spirit of charity

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Pope Francis called for Vatican doctrinal officials to work with a new spirit of service and charity and to cooperate more with local churches. He reminded the CDF that doctrine "must be taught and judged within the context of the needs of the community." In other words, he emphasized his pastoral vision, his Vatican II vision, as the primary vision of church. There can be little doubt this represents a major shift from the papacies of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

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