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The Francis Chronicles

Church is essential for faith; there are no 'free agents,' pope says

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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.

Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated

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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.

Francis: 'poor pay most for endemic corruption'

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 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.

Pope on Corpus Christi: Jesus in the Eucharist gives life, love

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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."

Support missions, enter 'flood of joy' of sharing God's love, pope says

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Engaging in or supporting missionary activity allows Christians to enter the "flood of joy" that comes from experiencing God's love and sharing it with others, Pope Francis said.

"The Lord's disciples persevere in joy when they sense his presence, do his will and share with others their faith, hope and evangelical charity," the pope said in his message for World Mission Sunday, which will be celebrated Oct. 19.

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In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

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