In his address to the CELAM (South America's USCCB), the Holy Father addressed the role of the bishop in the missionary work of the Church:
Bishops must lead, which is not the same thing as being authoritarian. . .Bishops must be pastors, close to people, fathers and brothers, and gentle, patient and merciful. Men who love poverty, both interior poverty, as freedom before the Lord, and exterior poverty, as simplicity and austerity of life. Men who do not think and behave like “princes”. Men who are not ambitious, who are married to one church without having their eyes on another. Men capable of watching over the flock entrusted to them and protecting everything that keeps it together: guarding their people out of concern for the dangers which could threaten them, but above all instilling hope: so that light will shine in people’s hearts. Men capable of supporting with love and patience God’s dealings with his people. The Bishop has to be among his people in three ways: in front of them, pointing the way; among them, keeping them together and preventing them from being scattered; and behind them, ensuring that no one is left behind, but also, and primarily, so that the flock itself can sniff out new paths.
I am hopeful that this Pope will push to end careerism, ladder-climbing, and other forms of Miteritis. The politics involved in climbing the ecclesial ladder encourage secrets-keeping, trading favors, back-stabbing, and other worldly tactics that destroy trust in the Church. Too many priests tread to a lukewarm, squishy path in order not to draw the Wrong Kind of Attention to themselves so that their ambitions for the Miter aren't diminished. We need faithful teachers at the cathedral not CEO's and politicians._____________
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