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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: It's not human for families to remain hungry from paying off loan sharks

The cold and rain kept many people from attending the General Audience at St. Peter's Square. It had one of the smallest attendances, but it also made it easier to see the Pope. Pilgrims gave him shirts, letters, photos. Some even brought their pets.

And the bird?

Here it is. Here's the bird. Take it, Father. He's very tame, Father.

The spotlight also fell on children often, before the start of the Pope's catechesis. As Pope Francis blessed them, many seemed happy to be there, but not all.

But he's crying

He's anti-clergy?

No, no. God forbid.

As he began the General Audience, the Pope explained why it was important to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

POPE FRANCIS

"We all make sure that we are baptized, and that's a good thing. But then we're not too concerned with getting Confirmed. So we're left halfway, and don't receive the Holy Spirit, which is so important in Christian life, because it gives us the strength to move forward.�

He reminded pilgrims that Confirmation is closely tied to Baptism, and that, along with the Eucharist, they are the sacraments of Christian initiation.

After his remarks on the sacraments, Pope Francis made an appeal in line with his economic beliefs. He denounced the financial challenges that many families go through once their paycheck ends. 

POPE FRANCIS

"I hope that institutions will intensify their efforts to help victims of dramatic usury, a social plague. When a family has nothing to eat because they have to pay off loan sharks, it's not Christian! It's not human!�

To close off, Pope Francis reminded people that Friday will be the feast of St. John Bosco. He urged young people, the sick and young married couples to reflect on his teachings, in order to face their obstacles in life.

JRB/RCA

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-BN

Up: RCA