VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has told bishops to strongly denounce corruption and to act more like pastors than “pilots” telling the faithful what to do.
Francis asked the bishops to reinforce the “indispensable role” of ordinary folk in their dioceses. “In reality, lay people who have an authentic Christian formation shouldn’t need a bishop-pilot, or a monsignor-pilot, or clerical input to assume their responsibilities at every level, from political to social, economic to legislative,” he said.
“Rather, what they all need is a Bishop Pastor!”
He complained that often official church documents are too heavy on doctrine and theory “as if our orientation isn’t aimed at our people and country but rather students and specialists.”
Francis has complained about an over-emphasis on doctrine and “small-minded rules” and lamented that theologians can get in the way of the church’s evangelizing work. On Monday, he urged bishops to make sure their documents “are translated in concrete and comprehensible proposals.”
Francis also complained that the church often organizes conferences where “the same voices” are heard over and over, an apparent reference to the practice of hosting only like-minded speakers at church-sponsored academic conferences.
Francis said such a practice “drugs the community, homogenizing choices, opinions and people.” He urged bishops to instead go “where the Holy Spirit asks them to go.”
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