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World Youth Day pilgrims carry a cross in Rio (CNS)

The Cross is worth its weight not in gold, nor in suffering alone, but in the currency of divine love

Pope Francis celebrates the opening Mass for the synod in St Peter's Basilica (AP)

The concept of gradualism is as old as Christianity itself

A hooded penitent in the  Philippines pauses while carrying a cross (AP)

Faithful urged to ‘focus on prayers’ rather than extreme self-mortification

Guido Reni's Crucifixion in San Lorenzo in Lucina, Rome

Why Catholics care about the Cross

It tells us a simple fact: that God loves us, all of us, and died for us

Pope Benedict XVI and Benjamin Netanyahu greet each other at Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2009 (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The crucifixion was caused by our own sins: that has always been mainstream Catholic teaching

Pope Benedict XVI visits Rome’s main synagogue in January 2010. In his new book he seeks to deepen Catholic-Jewish dialogue (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

In his forthcoming book on Jesus, Benedict XVI says mob does not represent Jews, but sinful humanity