Pope Francis said on Monday that Catholics should not give “excessive importance” to certain Church rules while disregarding others, urging opponents of abortion to show equal passion for the lives of the poor and oppressed.
The pope made his appeal in a major document known as an Apostolic Exhortation called “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and be Glad), a 100-page booklet on how people can be holy in a modern world filled with secular distractions and materialism.
In it, he urged people to try to be “the saint next door” by doing good and living the Gospel as best they could, keeping charity and mercy, rather than rigid rules, at the center of their lives.
He said sainthood was not only for bishops, priests and nuns or those “swooning in mystic rapture” but also for people living ordinary lives, with small gestures, patience and love.
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