At today’s General Audience the Pope announced his visit to the Italian city of Turin to venerate the Shroud and honour Saint John Bosco on the occasion of the bicentennial of his birth on 21 June. He also sent out an appeal for ALS patients
Iacopo Scaramuzzi taken from Vatican Insider
vatican city“It is sad when we see a man who seeks this office and does all he can to get it and when he gets it, he does not serve but instead goes around like a peacock and lives only for his vanity.” Pope Francis dedicated today’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square to the bishop’s ministry. The Argentinian Pope concluded by sending out an appeal for ALS sufferers and announced his visit to Turin next 21 June for the Ostension of the Holy Shroud and the bicentennial of Don Bosco’s birth.
“In the Bishop, assisted by priests and deacons, it is Christ himself who is present and who continues to take care of his Church, ensuring his protection and guidance. In the presence and ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, we can recognize the true face of the Church: she is our Holy Mother the Hierarchical Church. And really, through these brothers chosen by the Lord and consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders, the Church exercises her motherhood.” “We heard the things that the Apostle Paul says to the Bishop Titus, how many virtues we bishops must have,” the Pope said in an off-the-cuff comment to faithful. “It’s not easy, it’s not easy because we are sinners. But we entrust ourselves to your prayers.”
“As Jesus chose the Apostles and sent them out to preach the Gospel and shepherd his flock,” Francis said, “so the bishops, their successors, are placed at the head of the Christian community, as guarantor of their faith and as a living sign of the presence of the Lord among them. We understand, therefore, that it is not a position of prestige, an honorary role. The Bishop is not an honorary role it is a service. Jesus wanted it this way. There should not be room in the church for a worldly mentality. A worldly mentality speaks of a man who has an ‘ecclesiastical career and has become a bishop’. There should be no place for such a mentality in the Church. The Bishop serves, it is not a position of honour, to boast about. Being Bishop means keeping ever present the example of Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life for His sheep. The Bishops who are Saints – and there are many in the history of the Church – show us that one does not seek this ministry, one does not ask for it, it cannot be bought, one accepts it in obedience, not in an attempt to climb higher but to lower oneself, just as Jesus “humbled himself and became obedient unto to death, even death on a cross”. “It is sad,” the Pope added, “when we see a man who seeks this office and does all he can to get it and when he gets it does not serve, instead goes around like a peacock and lives only for his vanity.
“When Jesus chose and called the Apostles, he thought of them not as separate one from another, each on their own, but together, that they might be with Him, united as one family. The Bishops too are a single college, gathered around the Pope, who is the guardian and guarantor of this profound communion that was so dear to Jesus and His apostles themselves. How beautiful it is, then, when the bishops, with the Pope express this collegiality! And try to be the servants of the faithful, the servants of the Church! We recently experienced this in the Assembly of the Synod on the Family. Just think of all the bishops throughout the world who, despite living in places, cultures, sensibilities and traditions that are different and distant from each other, – one bishop the other day told me that to come to Rome it took a flight of 30 hours – even distant from each other, when bishops feel part of each other and become an expression of the intimate bond, in Christ, in their communities. A Church that is not united around its bishop is a sick Church,” the Pope said. “Jesus wanted unity between the bishop and all the faithful, starting with priests and deacons.”
At the end of the Audience, the Pope announced that “God willing” he will go on a pilgrimage to Turin next 21 June “to venerate the Holy Shroud and to honour Saint John Bosco on the occasion of the bicentennial of his birth. “The Archbishop of Turin, Cesare Nosiglia and the city’s mayor, Piero Fassino were present in St. Peter’s Square today.
A special thought goes to ALS sufferers,” Francis said in light of a debate the Italian government has been engaged in, regarding funds for ALS and the non self-sufficient – funding will apparently receive a boost. “I wish to assure these people of my support and prayers and I hope civil society will help their families deal with this great suffering,” Francis said without referring specifically to what has been going on in the news.
Before the Audience Francis received participants of a course on marriage organised by the Roman Rota and greeted patients seated in the Paul VI Hall. “You can watch the General Audience from here,” their Pope said to them. “The weather’s a bit risky today, who knows whether it will rain or not.” During the Audience he mentioned them saying: “Today our sick brothers and sisters are watching the Audience with us but on a big screen, not in the Square as there is a risk of rain.”