Pope Francis met with new bishops, including four Australians, at the end of their training course at the Vatican, reminding them to be both humble and open to better ways of evangelising other than just “the way it's always been,” CNA reports.
Pope Francis yesterday spoke in an audience with participants in the annual training course for new bishops held in Rome and organised by the Congregation of Bishops and the Congregation of Eastern Churches. The course was attended by Australian bishops ordained this year: Geraldton Bishop Michael Morrissey, Townsville Bishop Tim Harris Lismore Bishop Greg Homeming OCD and Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Ken Howell.
“Discernment is a remedy for the immobility of 'it has always been so' or 'we take time,'” the Pope told the bishops.
“It's a creative process that is not limited to the application of methods. It is an antidote against rigidity, because the same solutions are not good everywhere. Do not be imprisoned by the nostalgia of having only one answer to apply in all cases.”
He continued, warning that to have an easy, one-size-fits-all answer might soothe our performance anxiety, but it threatens to make our lives “dried up.”
He reminded the bishops how important it is that they have humility, especially for the work of the Holy Spirit.
“Remember that God was already present in your dioceses when you arrived and will still be there when you are gone,” he said. “And, in the end, we will all be measured not on the accounting of our works but on the growth of God's work in the heart of the flock that we keep in the name of the 'Shepherd and keeper of our souls'.”
Discernment, the Pope continued, requires humility and obedience. “Humility with regard to your own projects.”
“Obedience with regard to the Gospel, the ultimate standard; to the Magisterium, who guards it; to the norms of the universal Church, which serve it; and to the concrete situation of people,” who are looking to draw from the Church what will be most fruitful to their salvation,” he said.