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Pope tells priests: practice what you preach

Pope tells priests to practice what you preach; otherwise church's credibility undermined

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Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica in Rome.

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ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has told priests to practice what they preach, saying the church’s credibility is on the line.

During a Mass Sunday to formally take possession of one of the Vatican basilicas in Rome, Francis said ordinary Catholics need to “see in our actions what they hear from our lips.”

Francis has made himself an example of a more humble and frugal church by refusing many of the trappings of the papacy, living in the Vatican hotel rather than the Apostolic Palace and wearing a simple white cassock of the papacy rather than fancy vestments and capes for formal occasions.

Francis said: “Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the church’s credibility.”

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