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Rome Reports

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Pope to Nuncios: It is irreconcilable for a pontifical nuncio to criticize the pope behind his back

The pope met with the nuncios and pontifical representatives he summoned to Rome to update and reflect on some important issues for the Church.

In total there were 98 nuncios, five permanent representatives to the Holy See in international organizations and 46 retired nuncios.

Pope Francis delivered a series of recommendations to them, to better develop their mission.

He asked them to "live for the things of God and not for the things of the world." Therefore, he told them not to fall into "gossip and slander," because "the nuncio who forgets to be a man of God hurts the Church."

He also sent them a strong warning: "It is irreconcilable to be a pontifical representative and criticize the pope behind his back, have a blog or join groups hostile to him, the Curia and the Church of Rome."

Pope Francis regretted some fall into the temptation to treat their collaborators badly "as if they were a bad boss, instead of a father and pastor." He criticized the attitude of some nuncios who seek to live surrounded by luxury, even when they are assigned to poor areas. He says it is a counter-testimony.

He told them they must be impartial and objective men of communion and dialogue. He reminded them the doors of the nunciature must be open for people. If not, "they would betray their mission and become an obstacle."

Finally, he invited them to be charitable and reject expensive gifts offered. Instead, he told me to donate the gifts to charity.

This is the third time Pope Francis has called all nuncios to Rome. His first meeting was in 2013 and his second in 2016.