National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Church called to keep hope alive, live in joyful expectation, pope says

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The church of Christ is called to keep the light of hope alive in the world, showing all humanity the path leading to "the merciful face of God" and salvation in Christ, Pope Francis said.

Focusing his general audience talk Wednesday on the ultimate destiny of the church and all its members, Pope Francis asked the estimated 30,000 people in St. Peter's Square to repeat with him three times: "We will be with God forever."

Synod sends message, prayers to families suffering because of war

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Gathered with Pope Francis, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family issued a message of solidarity, support and prayers for all families suffering the impact of war and violence, especially in Iraq and Syria.

The members prayed particularly for those who, "because of the Christian faith they profess or because they belong to other ethnic or religious communities, have been forced to abandon everything and flee toward a future that lacks any kind of certainty."

The Vatican published the message Friday, in the middle of the Oct. 5-19 synod.

Avoiding temptation requires vigilance, pope says at morning Mass

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Just as you protect your home from thieves, you need to protect your heart from the temptations of the devil, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Preaching Friday during Mass in his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the pope said Christians should not be shocked that the devil continues to assail them; even after Jesus defeated Satan in the desert, the devil continued to try to tempt him, including when he was dying on the cross.

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