Pope Francis didn't mince words as he addressed Mexican Bishops gathered in Mexico City's Cathedral.
The Pope reminded the group to stay true to Our Lady of Guadalupe and to their mission as Bishops. He also called on them to resist worldly temptations.
"Do not allow yourselves to be corrupted by trivial materialism or by the seductive illusion of underhanded agreements; do not place your faith in the "chariots and horses” of today’s Pharaohs, for our strength is in "the pillar of fire” which divides the sea in two, without much fanfare.”
In order for their communities to see them as men of God, he said, they must live out the faith in their every day lives and stay way from the seductions of materialism. As ministers of God, the Pope explained, it should be enough to 'drink the cup of the Lord' and to protect the traditions entrusted to them.
"Therefore, do not lose time or energy in secondary things, in gossip or intrigue, in conceited schemes of careerism, in empty plans for superiority, in unproductive groups that seek benefits or common interests. Do not allow yourselves to be dragged into gossip and slander. Introduce your priests into a right understanding of sacred ministry.”
He then added that Bishops should promote unity among themselves. It's not always easy, but nonetheless, he said, it should be a priority.
"If you have to fight, go ahead and fight. If you have to say something to one another, go ahead and say it. But, do it face to face. Do it as men of God who will then pray and solve issues together. If you cross the line, apologize, but make sure to protect the unity of the episcopate.”
Some of the social challenges Mexico faces were also touched on, from drug trafficking to immigration. The Pope then spoke of the key role indigenous communities play Mexico's identity.
"I ask you to show singular tenderness in the way you regard indigenous peoples and their fascinating but not infrequently decimated cultures. Mexico needs its American-Indian roots so as not to remain an unresolved enigma.”
Bishops, added the Pope, must work together and develop pastoral programs to counteract violence in the country. The first step in making that happen, he explained, is to steer away from so called generic condemnations—and instead to focus their energy in strengthening families which will then inevitably strengthen society.