Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pope Francis: Holy Spirit tells bishops and popes when to step down

Pope Francis: Holy Spirit tells bishops and popes when to step down

Pope Francis angered abuse victims earlier this year when he indicated Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, accused of covering up for Catholic Rev. Fernando Karadima, had been slandered. There comes a moment where the Lord tells us: go somewhere else, go there, go this way, come to me. Paul seemed "a bit proud", said the Pope, but in actual fact "he is objective".

Bishop Gonzalez, along with Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of Santiago, met with journalists on 14th May on the eve of a three-day meeting between Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops.

Speaking at a Vatican Mass, Francis also said bishops should watch over their flocks rather than thinking about their careers.

Alfredo Mantovano and Alessandro Monteduro, president and director of ACN (Italy), said in a statement: "We have thanked the Holy Father and assured him that we will use his gift well - by bringing thousands more Christians back to Nineveh".

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The Apostle, he went on, "is obediently offering himself up to the Lord".

During his homily, Francis also said that St. Paul was uncompromising in ministry, saying that service without compromise is essential for pastors wishing to find peace. His second love is for his flock. Rather, he reminded them they are shepherds caring for a flock, and that at a certain point the time will come to turn the flock over to someone else.

He said: "When I read this, I think about myself, because I'm a bishop and I'll have to take my leave". "I know the pain resulting from cases of the abuse of minors, and I am attentive to what you are doing to respond to this great and painful evil - painful because of the harm and sufferings of the victims and their families, who saw the trust they had placed in the church's ministers betrayed".

Asked about how he copes with his popularity, he said: "I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, so as not to think that I am somebody important". "May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way (like Paul), with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit".

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