Europe

Pope urges faithful to find God in peripheries, not palaces

  • Pope Francis shows a booklet on Jesus Christ that will be distributed to faithful during the angelus prayer from his studio's window overlooking St. Peter's square, at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Francis shows a booklet on Jesus Christ that will be distributed to faithful during the angelus prayer from his studio's window overlooking St. Peter's square, at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nuns distribute food and drinks to needy people in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. After the Angelus prayer Pope Francis offered some 300 needy people a simple lunch of a sandwich and drink, as part of his long-running outreach to the poor and homeless who live around the Vatican.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Nuns distribute food and drinks to needy people in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. After the Angelus prayer Pope Francis offered some 300 needy people a simple lunch of a sandwich and drink, as part of his long-running outreach to the poor and homeless who live around the Vatican.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nuns distribute food and drinks to needy people in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. After the Angelus prayer Pope Francis offered some 300 needy people a simple lunch of a sandwich and drink, as part of his long-running outreach to the poor and homeless who live around the Vatican.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Nuns distribute food and drinks to needy people in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. After the Angelus prayer Pope Francis offered some 300 needy people a simple lunch of a sandwich and drink, as part of his long-running outreach to the poor and homeless who live around the Vatican.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis is urging the faithful to find God in the peripheries of society, not in its palaces, and not to fear things that challenge the ways of the church.

Francis celebrated Mass on Friday marking Epiphany, the biblical tale of the three wise men who set out to find the infant Jesus in a manger.

During this Christmas season, Francis has emphasized the humble origins of Christ's birth while criticizing a church that is closed in on itself, its wealth and achievements. It's a message Francis has repeated during his papacy to fault those who are obsessed with Christianity's rules and morals over God's mercy.

The pope criticized those who "want to control everything and everyone" and who fear "anything that challenges us, calls into question our certainties and our truths, our ways of clinging to the world and this life."