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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.

Christian identity must be clear, uncompromising, pope tells university

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Catholic universities must give "uncompromising" and "unambiguous" witness to church teaching and defend themselves from all efforts to dilute their Catholic identity, Pope Francis said.

Catholic universities, "by their very nature, are committed to demonstrating the harmony of faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life," he said in an audience with members of the board of trustees of the University of Notre Dame and other officials.

'SuperPope' graffiti appearing near Vatican

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Pope Francis has been depicted soaring into the sky, fist outstretched and crucifix swinging in the wind, on a wall of the Borgo Pio district near St. Peter's Square in Rome, complete with a white cape and a satchel branded with "valores," the Spanish word for values.

The graffiti mural, being dubbed "SuperPope," was spotted on Tuesday and is the work of Italian street artist Mauro Pallotta.

If you can cheer for a sports team, you can praise God, pope says

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Prayers of praise for God aren't just for charismatics, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

"We find it easy to understand praying to ask God for something and also to thank the Lord," he said Tuesday at his early morning Mass. But prayers of praise "don't come so spontaneously."

According to a report in Vatican Radio, Pope Francis focused his homily on a line from the day's first reading, which described David as "dancing before the Lord with abandon."

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In This Issue

November 21-December 5, 2014

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