Francis asks the faithful to pray for their pastors!
He offered the reflection in his morning homily at the Casa Santa Marta.
First off, the ordained must be close to God. As St. Peter said, apostles (the predecessors of today’s bishops) have the duty to “pray and proclaim the Word.”
Thus, the pope said, “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.
Secondly, Francis stressed, bishops need to be close to their priests, deacons, and other collaborators. He lamented when a bishop is not easily accessible to his priests.
“A priest has the right to know that he has a father,” he said.
Francis then emphasized that priests need each other.
Divisions within the presbytery, he warned, are the work of the devil.
Finally, Francis said, a bishop and his priests need to be close to their people.
“Do not forget about your people, do not forget about your roots!” he said. “As a bishop and as a priest, you must always be close to the people of God.”
He asked those present to pray “for their priests and bishops: So we may safeguard the gift that has been given to us — with this closeness.”
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