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The Francis Chronicles

Joy comes from faith, not doctrine, pope says

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God's law is about love for God and for others, not cold, abstract doctrine, Pope Francis said at a morning Mass.

"It's sad to be a believer without joy and there is no joy when there is no faith, when there is no hope, when there is no law, but only rules and cold doctrine," he said at the Mass Thursday in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

"The joy of faith, the joy of the Gospel is the touchstone of a person's faith. Without joy, that person is not a true believer," he said, according to Vatican Radio.

Pope’s quotes: Pearl of the kingdom

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A quote from Pope Francis:

“It is necessary to place the precious pearl of the kingdom before all other earthly goods; it is necessary to put God in first place in our life. According primacy to God means having the courage to say no to evil, to violence to oppression; to live a life of service to others and in favor of legality and the common good. … One must be a friend of God, love one’s brothers, and be committed to the protection of their lives and health, also respecting the environment and nature.

Blood of Naples' patron liquefies during Pope Francis' visit to cathedral

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At the end of Pope Francis' spontaneity-filled meeting with priests, seminarians and religious in the cathedral of Naples, the vial of dried blood of the city's patron saint appeared to miraculously liquefy.

After Pope Francis blessed the congregation with the reliquary holding the vial, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples announced, "As a sign that St. Januarius loves the pope, who is Neapolitan like us, the blood is already half liquefied."

Pope Francis calls death penalty 'unacceptable,' urges abolition

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Pope Francis came out squarely against the death penalty once again, calling it "unacceptable" regardless of the seriousness of the crime of the condemned.

Pope Francis met with a three-person delegation of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty on Friday and issued a letter on the occasion urging worldwide abolition.

Citing his previous messages against the death penalty, the pope called capital punishment "cruel, inhumane and degrading" and said it "does not bring justice to the victims, but only foments revenge."

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