Pope Francis asks new bishops to avoid self-promotion, to love their congregations instead
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Pope Francis has admonished a new generation of bishops against seeking promotion and instead asked them to look after and love their congregations.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During an address at the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis spoke to 138 newly-appointed bishops, admonishing them to love their congregations and to avoid seeking promotion and self-advancement. He also warned them against surrounding themselves with people who were only after self-promotion.
Pope Francis has sought to refocus the efforts of the clergy, and the church as a whole by directing them to return to the Gospel for inspiration. By living a life of service, by seeking to emulate Christ as opposed to self-advancement, clergy can actually have a profound impact on the lives and well-being of others.
Warning the bishops against ambition, Pope Francis asked them bishops to love their congregations just as they were. "I also beg you to not let yourselves be deceived by the temptation to change the people. Love the people that God has given you, even when they will have committed great sins," he told the bishops.
He warned bishops against being "pessimists" and being out of touch or "switched off" as he explained. Bishops should instead be accessible, and use their energy on "building and loving."
"It is necessary to always dwell in Christ and never run away from Him: dwell in His word, in His Eucharist, in the things of His Father and, above all, in His cross," the pope said.
Pope Francis directed his remarks to the 138 new bishops who had come to the Vatican for orientation and would soon be taking to their desks around the world to direct the work of the Church in their homes.
The Roman Catholic Church is the world's largest single religious denomination and is uniquely situated to serve the people of the planet. Pope Francis has made it a mission of the Church to eradicate world hunger and absolute poverty, missions that can likely be achieved within the next one to two decades, according to estimates by various international activist organizations. The key to that success is the tremendous size, organization, and charitable nature of all the world's Catholics.
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