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Pastors listening to the people

· Pope Francis recalls that episcopal ministry is a service of love ·

Humble and fatherly, always able to walk and stay close to his flock

A bishop in accordance with the will of God generously welcomes the mission to guard the flock entrusted to him. He accompanies his sheep along the way and remains close to them. Pope Francis said this on Thursday morning, 19 September, when he received a group of newly appointed bishops, who are participating in a course organized by the Congregation for Bishops and in collaboration with the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

“Your presence”, said the Pope, addressing the bishops, “is not secondary, it is indispensable. The people themselves who want to see their bishop walk with them and be near them ask it of you. They need his presence in order to live and breathe. Do not close yourselves in! Go down among your faithful, even into the margins of your dioceses and into all those 'existential peripheries' where there is suffering, loneliness and human degradation”. The Pontiff also called them to “trail the scent of the People of God in order to find new roads” and to avoid “the spirit of careerism” and ambition.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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