Vatican City, Dec 4, 2019 / 06:17 am
Bishops and priests have a duty to guard and protect the Catholics entrusted to their care; and they need the faithful's prayers for this task, Pope Francis said at the general audience Wednesday.
"Let us ask the Lord to renew in us love for the Church and for the deposit of the faith that it preserves, and to make us all co-responsible in the custody of the flock, supporting the pastors in prayer so that they manifest the firmness and tenderness of the Divine Shepherd," he said Dec. 4.
He emphasized that "bishops must be very close to their people to guard them, to defend them; not detached from the people."
Reflecting on the Acts of the Apostles, he explained that in chapter 20 Paul is saying farewell at the end of his apostolic ministry in Ephesus, giving a sort of "spiritual testament" to those who will lead the community after his departure and who will probably never see him again.