- Associated Press - Saturday, June 29, 2019

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has exhorted the faithful to avoid being smug or “lukewarm” Christians.

Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday to mark the feast day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Rome’s patron saints. The pope encouraged humility among the faithful.

Francis said “whenever we consider ourselves smarter or better than others. That is the beginning of the end.”

He told faithful to avoid becoming “lukewarm Christians living by half measures.”

In a June 29 tradition, Francis blessed white, wool stoles destined for churchmen who were named as metropolitan archbishops in the past year.

He also that the presence of a delegation of Orthodox prelates at the ceremony “reminds us that we can spare no effort also in the journey toward full unity among believers.”

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