Pope to U.S. bishops: be shepherds in unity and dialogue

Washington, DC, USA (Wednesday. 09-23-2015, Gaudium Press) After an official welcome from U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, Pope Francis met with the nation’s bishops, urging them to be shepherds who promote dialogue and foster unity at all levels of the Church and society.

Speaking to the U.S. Church leaders in the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle, close to the White House, the Pope praised the generosity of the American Church and the support it has given to the spread of the Gospel in many suffering areas of the world. He talked of the “immense efforts” made to welcome and integrate immigrants, as well as the pain and difficulties caused by the sex abuse crisis.

The Pope said he had not come to judge or to lecture the bishops, but rather to support and encourage their work as humble shepherds, shaping a Church that “attracts men and women through the attractive light and warmth of love.”  He urged them to promote a culture of encounter, avoiding “harsh and divisive language” but rather encouraging authentic dialogue as they confront the “challenging issues of our time”.

Source Vatican Radio

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