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'Go out,' keep writing Gospel of mercy, pope tells clergy, religious


  • Pope Francis greets the crowd as he visits the Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow, Poland, July 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • A nun is seen near an image of Jesus of Divine Mercy before Pope Francis' arrival to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow, Poland, July 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis signs a guest book after praying in front of the original Jesus of Divine Mercy image as he visits the Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow, Poland, July 30. (CNS photo/Alessia Giuliani, pool)
  • Pope Francis walks through the Holy Door as he visits the Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow, Poland, July 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Nuns in an outside overflow area attend Pope Francis' celebration of Mass with priests, religious and consecrated persons at the St. John Paul II Shrine in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow, Poland, July 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis hears a confession as he visits the Divine Mercy Shrine in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow, Poland, July 30. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)

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KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Catholic priests and nuns must renounce their personal interests and create a church that "goes into the world" with "living writers of the Gospel," Pope Francis said.

"In our lives as priests and consecrated persons, we can often be tempted to remain enclosed, out of fear or convenience, within ourselves and in our surroundings," the pontiff said July 30 during a Mass with Polish religious, priests, seminarians and bishops.

"Jesus directs us to a one-way street: that of going forth from ourselves," he said. "It is a one-way trip, with no return ticket. It involves making an exodus from ourselves, losing our lives for his sake."

Pope Francis was preaching at Krakow's St. John Paul II Shrine on the fourth day of his visit to Poland for World Youth Day.

With a reliquary containing a vial of St. John Paul's blood present in the sanctuary, Pope Francis told the clergy and religious their lives should be "marked by service and availability" with "no closed spaces or private property for our own use."

Disciples, he said, "do not build on the shaky foundations of worldly power, or settle into the comforts that compromise evangelization. They do not waste time planning a secure future, lest they risk becoming isolated and gloomy, enclosed within the narrow walls of a joyless and desperate self-centeredness," the pope continued.

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