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The Francis Chronicles

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.

Praise God, proclaim salvation, pray for the persecuted, pope says

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Prayer and mission are the very breath of the Christian life, Pope Francis said.

"When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same spirit," Pope Francis told members of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.

The pope met Friday with about 1,000 charismatic Catholics and their Protestant guests who were participating in a conference about the charismatic movement and new evangelization.

Be ready with God's weaponry; the devil is real, pope says

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Christian life is a constant battle against the devil, who is not the stuff of legend, but really exists, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Battling the devil will not be easy because the evil one's traps and temptations are many, and "the devil is not tossing flowers at us," but "flaming arrows" aimed to kill, the pope said Thursday during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

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