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Pope outlines hopes for church reform

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1 2013 6:39 a.m. MDT

Pope Francis is flanked by Vatican spokesman father Federico Lombardi during a news conference aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013.  (Luca Zennaro, Associated Press) Pope Francis is flanked by Vatican spokesman father Federico Lombardi during a news conference aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013. (Luca Zennaro, Associated Press)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says he wants a missionary church with a modern spirit that gives hope to the poor, young and elderly, speaking as key meetings begin on church reform.

Francis gave a lengthy interview to the editor of Rome daily La Repubblica that was published Tuesday as Francis began meeting with his parallel cabinet of eight cardinals tapped to advise him on reforming the church.

In the interview, Francis denounces the "Vatican-centric" nature of the Holy See, explains his affinity for his namesake St. Francis and describes how he was "invaded by anxiety" after he was elected, but then excused himself from the Sistine Chapel, closed his eyes and was filled with a light that enabled him to accept the job.

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