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The Francis Chronicles

Pope Francis and a church that changes

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The first months of any papacy are carefully scanned by many to see just what they say about how the new pope, who represents the world's some 1.2 billion Catholics, might change (or at least subtly alter) the direction of the church.

Pope Francis, of course, has already left many breadcrumbs for interpretation -- from feet washing to apparent reform of the so-called Vatican bank.

Pope Francis Tweets

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On the outside chance some NCR readers might have missed some of Pope Francis' tweets, I've gathered some of them here. These nuggets of spiritual wisdom date back to mid-May: 

We cannot live as Christians separate from the rock who is Christ. He gives us strength and stability, but also joy and serenity.

A Christian is never bored or sad. Rather, the one who loves Christ is full of joy and radiates joy.

Let’s learn to lose our lives for Christ, like a gift or a sacrifice. With Christ we lose nothing!

Pope Francis officially de-emphasizes papal titles

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Pope Francis has possibly de-emphasized a number of the formal titles normally taken by the leader of the Roman Catholic church, choosing instead to list himself first by the basic title "Bishop of Rome" in the Vatican's annual directory.

The directory, known as the Annuario Pontificio​, lists the Vatican's official information regarding church leaders and dioceses throughout the world. Release of the 2013 edition was delayed following Pope Benedict XVI's resignation in February and Francis' election in March.

Famed Roman SJ calls Francis 'profoundly Jesuit' pope

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One of Rome’s best known members of the Society of Jesus, and certainly one of the most wired in terms of Vatican contacts, said yesterday that for those with eyes to see, Francis cannot help but seem a “profoundly Jesuit” pope.

Jesuit Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a distinguished canon lawyer and former rector of the Jesuit-run Gregorian University, spoke April 19 as part of a panel discussing Francis’ papacy at the one-month mark. The event was sponsored by the “Alberto Hurtado Center for Faith and Culture” at the Gregorian.

Pope Francis on John XXIII: 'I see him with the eyes of my heart'

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Pope Francis has expressed an affinity for Pope John XXIII, calling the late pope's secretary on the phone Monday and saying "I see him with the eyes of my heart," according to the Vatican's semi-official newspaper.

Francis, according to a report Tuesday in L'Osservatore Romano, called John XXIII's former secretary at the late pope's summer home to personally thank the secretary for a letter he had sent to Francis suggesting an official celebration of the 50th anniversary this June of John's 1963 death.

Francis: Priests should 'have the smell' of their people

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Pope Francis urged the world’s Catholic priests Thursday to focus not on introspective prayers, but on walking among the common faithful so as to be “shepherds who have the smell of their sheep.”

“It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord,” Francis said during his homily at the annual Holy Thursday morning chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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July 18-31, 2014

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