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Pope: Take up God's offer to face life's problems with his love, wisdom

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People can choose either to tackle life's challenges with the loving and wise heart of God or be driven by their own passions and interests, Pope Francis said.

All people, whether they know it or not, have access to the gift of the Holy Spirit, "who teaches us to see with God's eyes, to feel with God's heart, to speak with God's words," helping people build a peaceful and loving home, church and world, he said.

Pope: Cross isn't an ornament, Christianity isn't a do-gooder's guide

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Christianity isn't a philosophy or guide to survival, good behavior and peace, it's a relationship with a real person who died on the cross for our sins, Pope Francis said.

"Christianity can't be understood without understanding this deep humiliation of the son of God, who abased himself, becoming a servant to the point of his death and death on the cross" in order to serve humanity, the pope said.

Pope to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at center for elderly, disabled

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Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at a Rome rehabilitation facility for the elderly and people with disabilities.

He will preside over the Holy Thursday evening Mass and foot-washing ritual at the Father Carlo Gnocchi Foundation's Our Lady of Providence Center on the outskirts of Rome, the Vatican announced Tuesday.

Last year, the pope celebrate the Holy Thursday liturgy at Rome's Casal del Marmo juvenile detention center, where he washed the feet of young male and female offenders.

Pope Francis confirms continuing existence of Vatican bank

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Pope Francis, accepting the recommendations of his international Council of Cardinals and other advisory groups, has decided the Vatican bank will continue to exist and has approved a plan to increase its transparency and accountability.

The Vatican press office issued a statement Monday saying the pope "has approved a proposal on the future" of the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal title of the bank. The Vatican, however, did not release details of the proposal.

On 20th anniversary of Rwandan genocide, pope urges reconciliation

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Just days before Rwanda was to begin a weeklong period of official mourning to mark the 20th anniversary of its genocide, Pope Francis urged the country's bishops to be resolute in continuing the work of healing and reconciliation.

"Twenty years after those tragic events," when as many as 1 million people were murdered in savage acts of ethnic violence, Pope Francis said, "reconciliation and the healing of wounds must remain the priority of the church in Rwanda."

Pope declares by decree three new saints for the Americas

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Without a canonization ceremony, Pope Francis declared three new saints for the Americas, pioneers of the Catholic church in Brazil and in Canada.

Pope Francis signed decrees Thursday recognizing: St. Jose de Anchieta, a Spanish-born Jesuit who traveled to Brazil in 1553 and became known as the Apostle of Brazil; St. Marie de l'Incarnation, a French Ursuline who traveled to Quebec in 1639 and is known as the mother of the Canadian church; and St. Francois de Laval, who arrived in Quebec 20 years after St. Marie de l'Incarnation and became the first bishop of Quebec.

Pope says married couples called to be icons of God's love

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Through the sacrament of matrimony, married couples are called to be living icons of God's love in the world, Pope Francis said; and when they fight -- and all couples do -- they don't have "to call the United Nations," but find simple words and gestures to say they are sorry.

Concluding a series of talks about the sacraments, Pope Francis used his general audience Wednesday to focus on marriage, and he asked the estimated 45,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray for the world's families, especially for couples experiencing difficulty.

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April 11-24, 2014

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