A bishop does not a parish on his own, “not alone, but with his herd on the shoulders, to bring it to the heart of your bride, that is, your church” – Pope Francis said in a passage of his extensive address to the participants in the training course for new bishops, whom he gave audience in the Clementine Hall. The course was organized by the Congregations for Bishops and Oriental Churches.
“The world is tired of charmers and liars, and I would say also of trendy priests or bishops. The people ‘smells it’, the people of God has the nose of God, and turns away when it recognizes narcissists, manipulators, defenders of their own causes, and promoters of vain crusades. Be different, try to live in God’s will” – Pope Francis told the bishops, urging them to be “able to enchant and attract, but not to draw people to themselves, but to attract them to God.”
“Please, do not choose any other perspective from which to consider your faithful – the Pope told the new bishops – besides that of their uniqueness. Leave no stone unturned to reach them, spare no effort to retrieve them. Be bishops able to initiate your Churches to this abyss of love. Today – he commented -, we ask too many fruits from trees that have not cultivated enough. The sense of initiation has been lost, yet, the most important thigs in our lives can only be accessed through initiation. Just think about educational emergency, transmission of both contents and values; think of emotional illiteracy, vocational courses, discernment inside the family, and of peace search: all those things require initiation and guided tours, with perseverance, patience and resolution, which are the signs that distinguish the good shepherd from the hireling.”
“God never gives up! Unlike us, who are accustomed to surrender, often we sit down, preferring to come up with bitter words to justify the laziness that blocks us in the sound of vain complaints, the complaints of a bishop are a bad things” – said the Pope in a passage of his extensive address to the participants in the training course for new bishops organized by the Congregation for Bishops and for the Oriental Churches. After a reflection on the call to be a shepherd – and the “thrill” you experienced, which – Bergoglio has recommended – you must never forget”: “Lose equilibrium, it is good for a bishop “- Pope Francis insisted in the three things he recommended to the bishops to make mercy become pastoral”: “be able to enchant and attract bishops”,”be able to initiate the bishops who have been entrusted in your hands”, and “the face of mercy is Christ.”
“The only treasure I beg you not to leave rusting in you – the Pope advised the new bishops – is the certainty that you are not left to your own devices. You Are Bishops of the Church, united in a single Episcopate, members of an indivisible College, firmly implanted like humble branches in the vine, without which you cannot do anything.”