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Vatican City

In life and sports, aim to win, have fun, don't hog the ball, pope says

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Pope Francis urged athletes to live life the same way they play sports: Don't hog the ball, don't fall back on defense, and make sure to keep it fun.

He also called on policymakers and communities to guarantee all kids have access to sports, education and jobs early on in life, "and I guarantee that there will be no addictions to drugs, alcohol and many other vices."

Pope: Half-hearted Catholics aren't really Catholics at all

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Those who insist others pray and believe exactly like they do, those who have alternatives to every church teaching and benefactors who use the church as a cover for business connections may call themselves Catholics, but they have one foot out the door, Pope Francis said.

"Many people say they belong to the church," but in reality have "only one foot inside," the pope said Thursday at the morning Mass in the chapel of his residence.

"For these people, the church is not home," but is a place they use as a rental property, he said, according to Vatican Radio.

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew may join Vatican prayer summit

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople may join Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres when they meet Pope Francis to pray for peace this weekend.

The Vatican's chief spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday that the pope had invited the head of the Orthodox faith to join the Middle East leaders at a Vatican prayer summit to be held this Sunday.

“It's true that the pope invited him and wants him to come,'' Lombardi said. “I think he will come but so far we do not have an official confirmation.''

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