Vatican City

Pope calls for 'poor' Church, 'St Peter had no bank account'

Francis says a rich church 'ages', has 'no life'

Pope calls for 'poor' Church, 'St Peter had no bank account'

Vatican City, June 11 - Pope Francis said Tuesday that the Catholic Church should not seek to accumulate wealth, pointing out that St Peter did not have a bank account. "If you want to have a rich Church, then the Church ages, it has no life," Francis said in his homily during Mass at Saint Martha's House, the Vatican residence where he lives. The Argentine pontiff, who has endeared the faithful with his humble approach and his focus on the poor and needy since being elected in March's conclave, said the truth of the gospel should be announced with "simplicity and gratuitousness". "The Church is not an NGO. It is born of gratuitousness of which poverty is a sign," added the pope. "The poverty that must distinguish the Church saves us from becoming organizers, entrepreneurs. "The works of the Church must go forward and some are complex, but with a heart of poverty, not a heart of investment or of a businessman... "Saint Peter did not have a bank account and when he had to pay taxes, the Lord sent him to sea to fish a fish with a coin inside in order to pay".

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