Tempted by horoscopes and fortune telling? Christ is better, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis issued a warning against horoscopes and fortune telling rather than God on Sunday, in a repeat of a frequent message.

Speaking to thousands gathered in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, the pontiff used the biblical example of Peter walking on water to urge against putting trust in false securities, according to the Catholic News Agency.

ReutersPope Francis address crowds in St Peter's Square who heard his weekly Angelus sermon.

'When we do not cling to the Word of the Lord, but consult horoscopes and fortune tellers, we begin to sink,' he said.

'Faith in the Lord and in his word does not open a path where everything is calm and easy; it does not take us away from the storms of life,' he added.

But 'faith gives us the security of a presence that pushes us to overcome the existential storms, the certainty of a hand that grabs us in order to help us in difficulties, showing the way even when it's dark,' he went on.

'Faith, then, is not an escape from life's problems, but it supports on the journey and gives it meaning.'

The warning comes amid high levels of superstition in Italy with billions of euros spent every year on charms, astrology and fortune telling, according to reports by the European Consumers Association.

Francis went on to use the analogy of Peter aboard the ship in the storm as a 'stupendous image' of the Church over the centuries.

'On this ship we are safe, despite our miseries and weaknesses, above all when we get on our knees and adore the Lord,' he said.