Pope shames Brazil church for letting faithful go

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis issued blistering, soul-searching criticism Saturday of the Brazilian church’s failure to keep its flock from straying to evangelical churches, challenging the region’s bishops to be closer to their people to understand their problems and offer them credible solutions.

In the longest and most important speech of his four-month pontificate, Francis drove home a message he has emphasized throughout his first international trip at World Youth Day: the need for priests and young Catholics to shake up the status quo, get out of their stuffy sacristies and reach the faithful on the margins of society or risk losing them to rival churches.

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