Pope Francis said at an Ash Wednesday Mass Wednesday that "Lent is the time to say no...to those spiritualities that reduce faith to cultures of the ghetto or exclusion".
Francis celebrated Mass marking the start of Lent in the
Roman church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine.
After receiving the ashes on his forehead from a cardinal,
Francis marked the foreheads of cardinals and faithful with the
ash, a symbol of penance.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the period of fasting
and penitence that leads up to Easter.