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The Francis Chronicles

Pope calls for global defense of Christians facing persecution

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Pope Francis condemned the "absurd violence" being used against Christians in several countries and called on people of good will everywhere to take up the cause of religious freedom.

At the end of his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis asked the estimated 15,000 people in St. Peter's Square to join him in reciting the Lord's Prayer for Christians facing persecution.

Pope urges G-20 focus on helping the poor, says 'lives are at stake'

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As world leaders prepared to meet in Australia to continue looking at ways to improve the global economy, Pope Francis asked them "not to forget that many lives are at stake" behind their discussions and decisions.

The measure of success of the Group of 20 heavily industrialized and emerging-market countries will not be found in statistics, but in "real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality," the pope said in a message.

Pope urges religious to wage war on 'terrorism of gossip'

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Religious orders and communities must combat "the terrorism of gossip," which is even worse than an occasional physical confrontation, said Pope Francis, a former Jesuit provincial in Argentina.

Meeting Friday with Italy's superiors of men's orders, which combined have a total of nearly 19,000 members, the pope said the way members of religious orders live should attract people to Christ and the church, and should be a model for other Catholics of creating harmony among a varied group of people thrown together by a common call.

Pope: Bishops must be servants, not vain careerists after power, honor

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The world's bishops are called to be servants and shepherds who use their position to care for people and the faith, not to seek power and boost their pride, Pope Francis said.

The church has no place for men with a "worldly mentality" who are seeking a career, he said at his weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.

"It's sad when you see a man who seeks this office and who does so much to get there and when he makes it, he doesn't serve, but struts like a peacock, living only for his own vanity," the pope said.

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In This Issue

December 5-18, 2014

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