“Please, fight divisions because they are one of the weapons the devil uses to destroy local Churches and the Universal Church” – reads one of the passages Pope Francis added off the cuff during his speech before 110 bishops gathered in the Clementine Hall on the occasion of the refresher seminar for the cardinals of Terra di Missione, organized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples.
The Pontiff added also that the devil uses two main weapons: the first is the division, whereas the second is money. “The devil enters through the pockets and destroys with the tongue, through chatter that divides – Francis explained to the bishops -. And the habit to chat is a terrorist habit: the chatter is a terrorist who drops bomb to destroy”.
Francis also told the participants at the Seminar not to forget “that the person closest to the bishop is the priest. Every priest must feel the closeness of his bishop. A bishop hears a phone call from the priest, or even a letter, and rushes to answer it straight away, the same day if possible.” After these recommendations added “off the cuff”, the Pope explained that closeness between a pastor and a priest should begin inside the seminary, when the priest is in training, and continue over time, offering them a “real, tangible example.”
“You can ask a number of collaborators to help you in your missionary work. Many lay faithful, immersed in a world full of contradictions and injustices, are available to seek the Lord and to bear witness – the Pope encouraged those who were present -. You have the great privilege and at the same time, the responsibility of being in the frontline of evangelization”.
“Be careful and vigilant – the Pope said -, not to allow already existent or future divisions to damage or weaken the fruits of your evangelizing endeavor and those of the various pastoral activities you promote”-. Concluding his speech, the Pontiff stressed that “the Church is always called to be able to remain above tribal and cultural connotations; and the Bishop, the visible source of unity, has to be the untiring creator of the particular Church in the communion of all its members.”