The Francis Chronicles
Francis Chronicles: "That restless heart gets up and says: 'Yes, I am a sinner, I did wrong, but I go ahead because the Lord is with me.' "
Catholics must get involved in politics even if it may be "dirty," frustrating and fraught with failure, Pope Francis said.
Given today's "throwaway" culture and so many problems unfolding in the world, "Do I as a Catholic watch from my balcony? No, you can't watch from the balcony. Get right in there!" he said.
Being Christian is humbly serving others, not applying "makeup" to your soul to make it prettier, Pope Francis said.
"To be Christian is to do what Jesus did -- serve," he said in a homily Thursday during Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Thinking about oneself and being self-centered "is a sin, it's a habit we have to break," he said, according to Vatican Radio. Just ask for forgiveness and pray "that the Lord convert us," he added.
"Why is it expected that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal."
The pope also pleaded that all priests be merciful when hearing confessions. "In the confessional, you will be there to forgive, not to condemn!"
Pope Francis has called for the reinforcement of what he has termed a biblical "alliance" between men and women that strengthens their communion in relationships but also respects differences between them.
Speaking in his weekly general audience Wednesday, the pope also rejected forms of male chauvinism that devalue women and called on society to "bring back" honor for marriage and family life.