Pope Francis to Italian bishops: Don’t be obsessed with power

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Pope Francis blesses a baby as he arrives to celebrate a mass at the Artemio Franchi stadium during his pastoral visit in Florence on November 10, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Pope Francis blesses a baby as he arrives to celebrate a mass at the Artemio Franchi stadium during his pastoral visit in Florence on November 10, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

ROME (RNS) Pope Francis made a whirlwind trip to Tuscany on Tuesday (Nov. 10), during which he addressed immigrant workers, called on Italian bishops to shun power and celebrated Mass with thousands of followers in Florence’s soccer stadium.

Francis started his packed, daylong schedule with a helicopter flight to Prato, known for its textile industry and large Chinese community. Crowds waving the Vatican’s yellow and white flag met him on his arrival.

The pope called for an end to labor exploitation, addressing the deaths of seven Chinese workers in a nighttime factory fire in 2013.

“It is a tragedy of exploitation and of inhumane conditions of life. And this is not undignified work,” he said.

READ: Pope Francis stumbles in church for second time in three days

“The life of every community demands that we fight the cancer of corruption all the way, the cancer of the exploitation of human beings and labor, and the poison of illegality,” he added.

The pontiff then flew to nearby Florence, where he spoke to Italian bishops inside the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

In a lengthy address to members of the Italian bishops’ conference, Francis urged them to avoid remaining “within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits that make us feel safe,” describing faith as “revolutionary.”

He also warned against being “obsessed with power” and said he wanted to see pastors actively helping their communities: “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”

The pontiff’s remarks follow revelations made last week of financial mismanagement and power struggles with the Vatican administration, known as the Curia, which is predominantly staffed by Italians.

Having addressed the bishops, Francis carried through his message by praying with sick and disabled people and eating lunch with a group of poor people. He then traveled to Florence’s soccer stadium, ending his daylong tour by celebrating Mass with thousands of Catholics.

The pope’s successful trip to Tuscany will likely calm fears over his health, a day after Francis stumbled up steps in Rome and following a similar incident at the Vatican on Saturday. Francis was able to adhere to a busy schedule in Prato and Florence, without interruption.


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  • Bernardo

    Too late Francis, the RCC is beyond saving. The pedophilia scandals and coverups have forced the pew peasants to delve into the theology and history of said church. And what have they found?

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 10-30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    continued below:

  • Bernardo

    The 10-30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    For added “pizzazz”, Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the “pew people” to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the “filicider”.

    Other RCC problems:

    An all-male, mostly white hierarchy, male-only priesthood, celibacy (unless you are an ex-Episcopalian priest), the resurrection, the ascension, the assumption, limbo and original sin!!!!

  • That is exactly what I heard people said about you and all your Masonic-Jewish Freemasonry of the NWO. How do you answer them? You supposed to be vicar for Christ not of this Satanic-Luciferian wicked world. What’s wrong with you? You are not Catholic but Jew. Why you infiltrated the Catholic Church? Do you think you can outsmart Christ? REPENT POPE. I PRAY FOR YOU. REPENT AND DO THE CONSECRATION THAT GOD HAD ORDERED FOR 98 YEARS NOW. Please Pope, save the world and save yourself too. Don’t ever think that you can mock God.

  • Bernardo


    What god? Might want to prove your god exists before your next comment.

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • Bernardo

    “John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Lord Acton—was an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer. He was the only son of Sir Ferdinand Dalberg-Acton, 7th Baronet[1] and a grandson of the Neapolitan admiral Sir John Acton, 6th Baronet.[2][3] He is perhaps best known for the remark, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

    Give us a break said Abe Lincoln, G. Washington, Gandhi et al !!!