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Pope: Christians fight evil with love, sacrifice, never with violence


  • Pope Francis walks past traditional flag twirlers and musicians during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • A priest holds a figurine of the crucified Jesus as he attends Pope Francis' general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets a baby during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis poses with military members during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians are called to detach themselves from power, reject violence and sacrifice themselves for God and others out of love, Pope Francis said.

Christians must live the way Christ chose to: not as "persecutors, but persecuted; not arrogant, but meek; not as snake-oil salesmen, but subservient to the truth; not impostors, but honest," he said June 28 during his weekly general audience.

In fact, "Christians find repugnant the idea that suicide attackers might be called 'martyrs' because there is nothing in their purpose that can come close to the behavior of children of God," who are called always to act out of love, he told the estimated 12,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.

High temperatures and scattered sprinkles prompted the pope to tell guests in the Vatican audience hall that he was about to head outside to a "Turkish bath."

In his weekly catechesis, the pope continued his series on Christian hope by focusing on what gives Christians strength and perseverance in the face of opposition, hatred and persecution.

Jesus dispelled all "mirages of easy success," the pope said, and he warned his disciples that proclaiming the kingdom of God would come at a high price as "you will be hated by all because of my name."

"Christians love, but they are not always loved," the pope said.

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