Bring it to confession if you haven’t prayed for them, he said.
In his homily during Mass at Casa Santa Marta today, Pope Francis called on political leaders to pray and for the people they govern to pray for them – whether they like their leaders or not.
“If leaders do not pray, they close themselves off in a self-referential circle or in that of their party, a circle from which they cannot escape,” Pope Francis said, according to a Vatican Radio report.
“It is important to be aware that we are all subordinate to someone more powerful. And those who are more powerful than political leaders, he suggested, are both the people who gave those leaders their power, “and God from whom their power comes through the people,” the pope said.
Pope Francis concluded by suggesting that those in attendance make an examination of conscience regarding their prayers for political leaders.
“I ask you this favor: every one of you take five minutes, no more. If you are a leader, ask yourself: ‘Do I pray to the One who gave me power through the people?’ “
“If you are not a leader,” he said, “‘Do I pray for my leaders? Yes, for this one and that one, yes, because I like them; but for that one, no.’”
“They need it so much more for this reason! ‘Do I pray for all leaders?’ And if you find in your examination of conscience before Confession that you have not prayed for your leaders, bring it to Confession. Because not to pray for leaders is a sin.”