Pope Francis gave a strong homily at Casa Santa Marta. He reminded that priests who don't live their faith with coherence are a sore spot for the Church.
“It's bad to see pastors with double lives. It's a wound to the Church. Sick pastors, who have lost authority and carry on with this double life. Jesus is stern with them. He not only tells people to listen to them but also to not do what they do. What does He tell them? 'You're white sepulchers.' Beautiful in doctrine on the outside, but rotting within.”
The prescription issued by the Holy Father for these pastors contains two parts – firstly, be close to God in prayer, and secondly, be close to the people to understand them and love them.
EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican News)
“Because He was close, He understood. He welcomed, healed, taught with closeness. What grants authority to a pastor or awakens authority in him, given by the Father, is closeness to God in prayer. A pastor who does not pray, who does not seek God, cannot be close to the people. A pastor detached from the people cannot bring His message to them. This double closeness is what the anointing of the pastor consists in, because moved by God's gift of prayer, the pastor in turn can be moved by the sins, the problems and the diseases of the people.”
“Jesus is clear on this: 'Do what they say' – they say the truth – 'but not what they do.' The double life. It's bad to see pastors with double lives. It's a wound to the Church. Sick pastors, who have lost authority and carry on with this double life. Jesus is stern with them. He not only tells people to listen to them but also to not do what they do. What does He tell them? 'You're white sepulchers.' Beautiful in doctrine on the outside, but rotting within. This is the end of a pastor who is neither close to God in prayer nor close to the people in compassion.”
“I say to the pastors who are detached from God and from the people, 'Don't lose hope. There's always another possibility. It was enough for a man to look and approach a woman, listen to her and awaken the authority to bless and prophecy. Accordingly, a son was born to her. Authority. Authority, a gift from God. It only comes from Him. Jesus gives it to His own. Authority in speaking, which comes from closeness to God and to the people. They always go together. Authority is coherence, not double life. It's authority, and if a pastor loses it, he should not lose hope, like Eli. There's always time to come close and reawaken authority and prophecy.”