Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Give Now >

Pope Francis says priests, bishops should keep an open dialogue

The #1 Catholic Online School
FREE Catholic Classes

11/26/2018 (2 weeks ago)
Catholic Online (

In a meeting with seminarians Saturday, Pope Francis said it is necessary for priests to maintain an open and filial discussion with their bishop, since he is the unifying figure of the diocese.


Catholic Online (
11/26/2018 (2 weeks ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope Francis, priests, priests

Vatican City, (CNA/EWTN News) - "You cannot be a good priest without a filial dialogue with the bishop. This is something non-negotiable," the pope said in the Vatican's Consistory Hall.

"As someone likes to say, ~No, I am an employee of the Church. You are wrong," he continued. "Here there is a bishop, there is not an assembly where the position is negotiated. There is a father who unifies: like Jesus wanted things. A father who unifies."

Pope Francis set aside his prepared speech during a Nov. 24 meeting with seminarians of the Diocese of Agrigento, in order to, he said, "speak a little spontaneously," on the relationship between a diocesan priest and his bishop.

The bishop "is not the owner of a company;" he is not "the one who commands" while some obey, others pretend to obey, and still others do nothing, Francis said. "No, the bishop is the father, he is fruitful, he is the one who generates the mission."

He noted that the term "mission" is a loaded one, signifying the will of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, advising seminarians to "learn to see in the bishop the father who was there to help you grow, to move forward and to accompany you in the moments of your apostolate."

Whether the bishop is there "in beautiful moments, in bad moments," he said, "but to accompany you always; in moments of success, in the moments of defeat you always have in life... This is something very, very important."

The pope said the only way this accompaniment can happen, is if priests have a relationship with their bishop; that he knows them as they are, with their own virtues and faults, personalities, and ways of feeling and thinking.

Since it is the bishop who gives the priests of his diocese their parish or other assignment, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of the bishop knowing his priests, so he can make the right choice in the mission he assigns.

But do not meddle in the bishop's decision, he warned. "Leave the bishop to sort it out: to organize [things] in the Spirit."

He emphasized that this is not the same as arranging things into an "organizational chart," though sometimes the Church may use organizational tools for functionality. "But the Church goes beyond the organizational chart, it is another thing: it is life, life ~sorted in the Holy Spirit."

The pope also made an analogy between the men in formation for the priesthood and the clay pot, which if not right, the potter can reshape or remake " but only before the clay has been baked.

The seminary is a time of training, he explained, and if they have a disagreement about something or do not understand, they should express it appropriately to the rector. "This is important, to say what you feel," he advised.

This is so that they each can be truly become "a vessel full of grace," he said, warning that if they "stay silent and do not talk, do not say your difficulties, do not tell your apostolic anxieties and all you want, a silent man, once ~baked, cannot be changed."

"And all life is like this," he continued. "It is true that sometimes it is not pleasant for the potter to intervene decisively, but it is for your own good. Let yourself be trained, let yourself be formed."

Your Prayer Requests 'LIVE'


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry.
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.


More Europe

Pope Francis tells Catholic TV journalists to be 'channels' of peace Watch

Image of

Pope Francis told a Catholic media group Thursday to be avenues of God's peace, sharing the stories of the poor, the least, and the ... continue reading

Pope Francis to visit Mother Teresa's birthplace in 2019 Watch

Image of

The Vatican announced Thursday that Pope Francis will travel to Bulgaria and Macedonia May 5-7, 2019, with a stop in Mother Teresa's ... continue reading

Reports of Pell guilty verdict emerge, despite gag order Watch

Image of

Cardinal George Pell has been convicted by an Australian court on charges of sexual abuse of minors, according to media reports and CNA ... continue reading

Our Lady of Guadalupe remains a 'teacher of the Gospel' through her image Watch

Image of

Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe Wednesday, reflecting on how Mary continues to evangelize Latin America through ... continue reading

Three cardinals dropped from C9 as reform process nears end Watch

Image of

The Vatican said Wednesday that while there are no immediate plans to add new members to the C9, Pope Francis has released the three eldest ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.