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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis: There are holy priests, though they are not 'newsworthy'

2014-01-27

Pope Francis explained in his homily at Casa Santa Marta the role of priests and bishops within the Church. They lead the Church because they've been "anointed,” not because they "were elected by the majority.”

POPE FRANCIS
"The bishops are elected not only to conduct an organization, which is called the particular Church. They are anointed: they have the anointing and the Spirit of the Lord is with them. All of us bishops are sinners, every one. Still, we are anointed. We all want to be more holy every day, more faithful to this anointing.”

The Pope acknowledged that there are bishops or priests who have not lead by example. But he also upheld the work many other priests do for their congregations, but is not considered "newsworthy.” 

EXCERPT OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
Source: Vatican Radio

"The bishops are elected not only to conduct an organization, which is called the particular Church. They are anointed: they have the anointing and the Spirit of the Lord is with them. All the bishops are sinners, every one. Still, we are anointed. We all want to be more holy every day, more faithful to this anointing. The person of the bishop is the thing that [constitutes] a Church [as such], in the name of Jesus Christ because he is anointed, not because he was voted by the majority. It is in this anointing that a particular Church has its strength. Because they take part [in the bishop’s mission of service] priests are anointed, as well.”

"On the contrary, it is impossible to understand not only it is impossible to explain how the Church could continue under merely human strength. This diocese goes forward because it has a holy people, many things, and also an anointed one who leads, who helps it to grow. This parish progresses because it has many organizations, many things, but it also has a priest, who carries the parish forward. We in history know but a small part - though how many holy bishops, how many priests, how many holy priests have given their lives in the service of the diocese, the parish how many people have received the power of faith, the power of love, hope [itself] from these anonymous pastors? We do not know: there are so many.”

"‘But , Father, I have read in a newspaper that a bishop has done such a thing, or a priest who has done this thing.’ Oh yes, I read it, too. Tell me, though: do the papers carry news of what great charity so many priests, so many priests in so many parishes of the city and the countryside, perform? Of the great work they do in carrying their people forward? No? This is not news. It is the same as always: a single falling tree makes more noise than a forest that grows. Today, thinking about this anointing of David, it will do us good to think of our brave, holy , good , faithful bishops and priests, and pray for them. We are here today thanks to them.”


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