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Guard the faith, make it grow, pope tells parents at baptism


  • Pope Francis baptizes one of 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 8. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)
  • Pope Francis baptizes one of 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 8. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)
  • Pope Francis celebrates the baptism of 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 8. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)
  • Pope Francis baptizes one of 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 8. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)
  • Pope Francis leaves the Sistine Chapel after celebrating the baptism of 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 8. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)
  • Pope Francis baptizes one of 28 babies in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Jan. 8. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Parents are charged with guarding the faith given to their children at baptism and helping them become true witnesses by example rather than just rules, Pope Francis said.

By asking the church for faith for their children through the sacrament of baptism, Christian parents have the task of helping their children to grow so that they "may be witnesses for all of us: also for us priests, bishops, everyone," the pope said during a Mass in the Sistine Chapel.

During the Mass Jan. 8, the feast of the baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis baptized 28 infants -- 15 boys and 13 girls.

"Faith is not reciting the 'Creed' on Sunday when we go to Mass: It is not only this," the pope said. "Faith is believing that which is the truth: God the father who has sent his son and the Spirit which gives us life."

The pope's brief homily centered on the meaning of faith, which he described as a lifelong journey that "is lived" and leads to becoming a witness of Christ.

Parents, he continued, must also teach through their example that faith "means trusting in God."

While the pope spoke, the faint cries of a child echoed throughout the Sistine Chapel, causing a chain reaction of crying infants.

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