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Pope Francis notable quotes

Here are some of Pope Francis' notable quotes, from his installation in 2013 to his remarks at the United Nations this week. He has sparked controversy with his comments on abortion, homosexuality and unfettered capitalism. He has focused in his papacy on the disadvantaged, the environment -- and making the Catholic Church more merciful.

Pope on 'selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity'

SEPT. 25, 2015: The pontiff called on world
Photo Credit: AP / Mary Altaffer

SEPT. 25, 2015: The pontiff called on world leaders gathered at the 70th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to protect the environment and the defenseless. "In effect, a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged," he said in Spanish.

'America continues to be, for many, a land of dreams'

SEPT. 24, 2015: As he became the first
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Vincenzo Pinto

SEPT. 24, 2015: As he became the first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress, Pope Francis referred to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s pursuit of "his dream of full civil and political rights for African-Americans."

"That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of dreams," the pontiff said, prompting politicians to rise and cheer.

'Maybe there's an impression I'm a little bit more lefty ...'

SEPT. 22, 2015:
Photo Credit: AP / Cliff Owen

SEPT. 22, 2015: "Maybe there's an impression I'm a little bit more lefty, but I haven't said a single thing that's not in the social doctrine of the church," Pope Francis told reporters on his flight from Cuba to Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.

He is seen here arriving at the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican's diplomatic mission in the heart of Washington, the same day.

Calling for a 'revolution of tenderness'

SEPT. 22, 2015: In his homily at the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Filiippo Monteforte

SEPT. 22, 2015: In his homily at the Minor Basilica of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre -- the most sacred Catholic shrine in Cuba -- Pope Francis told the crowd that "generation after generation, day after day, we are asked to renew our faith. We are asked to live the revolution of tenderness as Mary, our Mother of Charity, did. We are invited to 'leave home' and to open our eyes and hearts to others."

'Service is never ideological'

SEPT. 20, 2015: Celebrating Mass in Havana's Revolution
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rodrigo Arangua

SEPT. 20, 2015: Celebrating Mass in Havana's Revolution Square, near the plaza's huge image of revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Pope Francis urged service to people and not ideas. "There is a kind of 'service' which truly 'serves,' yet we need to be careful not to be tempted by another kind of service, a 'service' which is 'self-serving,'" the first Latin American pope said in his native Spanish.

He added in a gentle warning, "There is a way to go about serving, which is interested in only helping 'my people,' 'our people.' This service always leaves 'your people' outside, and gives rise to a process of exclusion."

With Cuban President Raúl Castro in attendance, Francis proceeded to caution against slavish obedience to ideology, saying, "Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people."

Pope: Abortion an 'agonizing and painful decision'

SEPT. 1, 2015: Pope Francis said all rank-and-file
Photo Credit: Getty Images

SEPT. 1, 2015: Pope Francis said all rank-and-file priests can "absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it," during the Holy Year of Mercy that he has proclaimed will begin Dec. 8, 2015. In a letter published by the Holy See, the pontiff said he has "met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision."

Francis made clear that he wasn't downplaying the gravity of abortion, which the Roman Catholic Church essentially views as equivalent to murder.

"The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails," he wrote. "Many others on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option."

Unfettered capitalism 'the dung of the devil'

JULY 9, 2015: Addressing the Second World Meeting
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Cris Bouroncle

JULY 9, 2015: Addressing the Second World Meeting of the Popular Movements in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Pope Francis took on climate change and unfettered capitalism:

"Today, the scientific community realizes what the poor have long told us: harm, perhaps irreversible harm, is being done to the ecosystem. The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished. And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called 'the dung of the devil.' An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people's decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home."

Earth looking 'more and more like an immense pile of filth'

JUNE 18, 2015: In his much-anticipated encyclical on
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Filippo Monteforte / File

JUNE 18, 2015: In his much-anticipated encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis accepted as fact that the planet is getting warmer and that human activity is mostly to blame. He called for radical change to confront climate change, while blaming an economic system in which he says the rich exploit the poor for environmental degradation. "The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth," wrote Francis, who is a trained chemist.

Francis is the first pope to say climate change is largely man-made.

'We have to find a new balance'

SEPT. 19, 2013: Pope Francis warned that the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alberto Pizzoli

SEPT. 19, 2013: Pope Francis warned that the Catholic Church's moral edifice might collapse unless it balanced its doctrinal and divisive rules about abortion, contraception and gay people with what he said was a more important need: making the church more merciful and welcoming. "The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently," Francis said in a lengthy interview with the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica that was published simultaneously in other Jesuit journals. "We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel."

'Who am I to judge?'

JULY 29, 2013: Heading back from his first
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andreas Solaro

JULY 29, 2013: Heading back from his first foreign trip, to Brazil, Pope Francis made big news aboard the papal plane. He reached out to gay people during a wide-ranging news conference, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis asked.

'Let us never forget that authentic power is service'

MARCH 19, 2013: As he was officially installed
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

MARCH 19, 2013: As he was officially installed in an inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis focused on the disadvantaged -- a central theme of his papacy in the years since. "Let us never forget that authentic power is service and that the pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the cross," Francis said in his homily.

He became the 266th pontiff -- and the first Jesuit and first Latin American pope.

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