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Rome Reports

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Pope in Santa Marta: When bishops break away from people, they fall into ideology

Pope Francis dedicated his homily specifically to bishops and priests at his Mass in Casa Santa Marta. He asked them to be close to those who are entrusted to them. 

When a bishop breaks away of the people of God, he can find himself in an atmosphere of ideologies that have nothing to do with his ministry. Then he is not a minister, nor a servant. He has forgotten the free gift that he received.

The pope additionally had a special recommendation for the bishops: always be close to their priests, so that they feel like they have a father. 


(Source: Vatican News)

“When a minister – a priest, a deacon, a bishop – gives too much value to money he attaches himself to the root of all evils. A bishop is a man who is close to God. Peter tells us that our duty – that is the duty of the apostles – is “to pray and proclaim the Word.

Thus, the bishop’s first task is to pray: it gives us strength and awakens within us the awareness of this gift of the ordained ministry that must never be neglected. It is sad when a bishop forgets about his priests. It is sad to hear a priest complain he is unable to get in touch with his bishop or make an appointment to see him in a brief space of time.

“A priest has the right to know that he has a father. Do not forget about your people, do not forget about your roots! As a bishop and as a priest, you must always be close to the people of God.”

“When a bishop breaks away from the people of God he ends up following ideologies that have nothing to do with the ministry: 'he is not a minister, he is not a servant. He has forgotten the free gift that he received.'”

The Pope concluded urging all ordained ministers not to forget the four ways in which they must nurture “closeness”: closeness to God, prayer, closeness of the bishop to his priests; closeness of priests to each other; closeness to the people of God.

He asked those present to pray for their priests and bishops”, he said, “So we may safeguard the gift that has been given to us - with this closeness”.