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Rome Reports

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Pope to Madagascar bishops: Pay attention to seminarians, do not put the wolf among sheep

Pope Francis met with the bishops of Madagascar in the Andohalo Cathedral.

In his speech, he asked them to be close to the concerns of all citizens of their country, regardless of their religion.

With an explanatory example, the pope also told demonstrated being a pastor is quite similar to soccer.

"The pastor is like the goalie of the soccer team. He knows how to stop the ball wherever it comes from. He knows how to face reality as it comes."

He also gave them advice: remain close to God, the people and especially their priests, a bishop's closest comrade.

“If your secretary tells you a priest called, that same day or at least the following day, return the call. You may not have time to receive him, but call him. That way he will know he has a father.”

Finally, the pope asked them to select the seminarians very carefully.

“In some European countries, a lack of vocations pushes the bishop to accept seminarians from here and there. It's unfortunate because they don't know what their lives were like. They accept those who have been thrown out of other seminaries or those who have been expelled from religious life for immoral reasons. Please pay attention! Do not let the wolf into the flock.”

Then Pope Francis greeted all the bishops of Madagascar and they took this family photo.

Before leaving the cathedral, the pope prayed a few moments before the tomb of Victoire Rasoamanarivo, beatified by John Paul II 30 years ago, during his visit to the country. She was the first Blessed from Malagascar.