Vatican City, May 21, 2019 / 03:08 am
Pope Francis said Monday that each bishop has a duty to have a strong, close relationship with his priests with a firm warning that episcopal aloofness and favoritism weakens the mission of the Church.
"The relationship between us bishops and our priests is, unquestionably, one of the most vital issues in the life of the Church, it is the backbone on which the diocesan community is based," Pope Francis told Italian bishops gathered at the Vatican for their annual meeting May 20-23.
"Unfortunately, some bishops are struggling to establish acceptable relationships with their priests, thus risking the ruin of their mission and even weakening the mission of the Church itself," he said.
Pope Francis said that bishops need to understand that at this time many priests feel continually under attack because of the crimes of others in the priesthood, and they need encouragement during this difficult time.