To learn in this sense, he said, "is to understand the needs and questions of humanity today and to look for answers in the Word of God and in the truth of the faith."
He pointed to Bl. Paul VI's 1975 apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, in which the late Roman Pontiff encouraged evangelization efforts to take place "not in a superficial way," but by "descending into the concrete situations of people."
"Attention to people is the underlying theological and ecclesial motive for this formation course," the Pope said, adding that spiritual health and "the salus animarum (salvation of souls)" of the persons entrusted to them "is the end of every pastoral action."
The mission of a bishop, he said, is ultimately expressed in the First Letter of Saint Peter, in which the apostle encourages pastors at the time to tend to their flock not because they are forced to, "but willingly, as would God," and to do so with "a generous heart" while providing an example for the flock.
"In this perspective, it is necessary to decisively eliminate every impediment of a worldly nature which makes it difficult for a large number of faithful to access ecclesiastical tribunals," he said, stressing that economic or organizational problems "cannot be an obstacle to the canonical verification of the validity of marriage."
Francis then spoke of the "healthy relationship" between justice and charity, explaining that Church law can't ignore "the fundamental principle of salus animarum."
Because of this, ecclesiastical tribunals "are called to be a tangible expression of a diaconal service of the laws in regard to this primary end," he said, noting that the salvation of souls indicates "the horizon of mercy."
Pope Francis noted that the questions the bishops bring from their own dioceses and experience of marriage pastoral ministry "require answers and actions that are not always easy."
However, he voiced his confidence that the course would help them to find "the most appropriate approach to the various problems," and thanked the Dean of the Rota, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, as well as the other speakers, who included Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, for their "competent legal, theological, and pastoral contribution."
Pope Francis closed his speech by encouraging the bishops to return to their dioceses "enriched with notions and useful tips in order to perform your ministry more effectively, especially regarding the new marriage process."
This process, he said, is "an important help" in terms of to growing their flocks in imitation of Christ the Good Shepherd, "from whom we must daily learn the wise search of the unum necessarium (one thing necessary): the salvation of souls."
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He prayed that the Holy Spirit, who "invisibly but truly guides the Church," would help both them "and also the Successor of Peter to respond with availability and humility to the cry of help of so many of our brothers and sisters who need to discover the truth of their marriage and their ways of life."