ASSISI, Italy (CNS) -- Making his first pilgrimage as pope to the birthplace of his papal namesake, Pope Francis called on the whole church to imitate St. Francis of Assisi, embracing poverty and stripping itself of the "spirit of world."
n his latest wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis said that he aimed to make the Catholic Church less "Vatican-centric" and closer to the "people of God," as well as more socially conscious and open to modern culture.
Backstabbing and gossip hurt people and harm God's desire for a united human family, Pope Francis said. Unity is a gift from God, "but often we struggle to live it out," he said. "We are the ones who create lacerations."
Despite feeling unworthy of the call, 14 men took another step forward in discerning their place in the diaconate. Their steps came a week apart during special Masses celebrated with their family, parishioners and priests who have supported them along the way.
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