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Pope denounces 'poison' of consumerism in 'society based on profit'

Pope Francis denounced consumerism as a poison that threatens true happiness, which comes from membership in the church.

The pope made his remarks Sunday before praying the Angelus with a noontime crowd in St. Peter's Square.

"The encounter with the living Jesus, in the great family that is the church, fills the heart with joy, because it fills it with true life, a profound goodness that does not pass away or decay," he said.

Pope is most influential, second most-followed world leader on Twitter

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Pope Francis is the most influential world leader on Twitter, with the highest number of retweets worldwide.

He also is the second most-followed leader of the world, running behind -- albeit by a long stretch -- U.S. President Barack Obama.

The rankings were released July 24 in a recent study titled "Twiplomacy," which refers to the use of Twitter by world leaders.

Vatican bank launches website to boost transparency, media relations

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In an effort to shake its image as a secretive, scandal-ridden institute and improve its relationship with the media, the Vatican bank has launched its own website.

"It is an important part of transparency to launch a website," said Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican bank.

The site for the bank -- formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion -- went live Wednesday at ior.va.

Returning to Rome, pope discusses plans for future trips

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At the end of his first foreign trip, Pope Francis told reporters it's good for a pope to travel, and there are plans in the works for visits in Italy, to Jerusalem, to Asia, but nothing planned soon for his Argentine homeland.

"I think papal trips are always good," he said July 28 during the flight back to Rome after a week in Brazil.

The July 22-29 papal trip was good for Brazil "not just because of the pope's presence, but because for World Youth Day they mobilized and did so well that it will help the whole church," he said.

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September 26-October 9, 2014

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