Vatican, 13 September, 2023 / 9:25 pm (ACI Africa).
“Guard the ecclesial fidelity of your people,” this was the final recommendation Pope Francis made to the 110 Catholic Bishops mostly from Africa and Asia during his audience with them inside the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace near St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
In the September 9 private audience with the Catholic Bishops ordained within the last five years, who participated in the September 4-13 ongoing formation for Bishops organized under the theme, “Living the Episcopal Mission in a Synodal Church”, the Holy Father made specific remarks about Africa, and recommendations that Catholic Church leaders across the globe need to bear in mind as they shepherd the people of God.
“In my ministry to govern the Church, I need to hear from you and your Churches,” Pope Francis is quoted to have said in a Wednesday, September 13 report by Bishop Christian Carlassare of South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese that ACI Africa obtained.
In the report, Bishop Carlassare makes reference to the 2-minute speech of Pope Francis during which he also underscored the need of love on the part of Church ministers, saying that Church governance “is possible only in fraternal charity. Without charity all governing bodies are useless.”
The Holy Father had more to say about what Catholic Bishops need to know and help accomplish after “a number of Bishops presented some thoughts and concerns” during the September 9 audience, Bishop Carlassare notes in his report in which he speaks about the enlightenment the Bishops mostly from Africa and Asia received about the Dicastery for Evangelization among other Vatican Dicasteries.