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Pope, in Assisi, calls on Church to shun vanity

Friday, October 04, 2013 - 01:54

Oct. 5 - As part of his drive to turn around a Church plagued by scandals, Pope Francis calls on the Roman Catholic Church to shun ''worldliness'' and to serve the world's poor. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Pope Francis used a visit to the central Italian town of Assisi -- where his namesake Saint Francis of Assisi once lived -- to deliver a message to the whole of the Roman Catholic Church: Shun vanity, pride and other worldliness, and get back to the important business of helping the world's poor. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "It is ridiculous that a Christian, a true Christian, that a priest, a nun, a bishop, a cardinal, a pope, would wish to go down the road of worldliness. That would be a murderous attitude. Spiritual worldliness kills, it kills the soul, kills people, kills the Church." His message, he said, applied to the lowliest priest on up to the pontiff himself. It comes just one day after more than 300 African migrants drowned, or are feared drowned, when their boat sank off the Italian coast. Setting aside his prepared speech, a visibly moved Pope referenced the disaster in off the cuff remarks, calling this a "day of sorrow". (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "Many of you have been stripped by this savage world that does not give work, that does not help, that does not care if there are children in the world who are dying of hunger…does not care about many people who have to flee poverty and hunger, flee seeking freedom and many times they find death." As if to drive the home Friday's message, Pope Francis held an intimate lunch for the poor. Simplicity and poverty are the keystones of his papacy. Observers say the new openness is part of a drive to turn around a Church plagued by financial and sexual abuse scandals.

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Pope, in Assisi, calls on Church to shun vanity

Friday, October 04, 2013 - 01:54