On Monday Pope Francis offered some words of advice to a meeting of Italian bishops, saying to them it is not a sin to criticize the pope.

Pope Francis’ wisdom came at the opening of the Italian Episcopal Conference’s 71st General Assembly, which is taking place until May 24th with a theme of “Which Ecclesial Presence in the Current Communicative Context.”

In his opening address, Pope Francis shared with the assembly three concerns that trouble him. He spoke on the “hemorrhage of vocations,” calling the situation a “demographic winter” that has “our paternity at stake.”

Pope Francis also spoke on the importance of poverty in the priesthood and evangelical transparency, saying “without poverty there is no apostolic zeal, there is no life of service to others.” Finally Pope Francis addressed his concerns on the need to reduce or merge dioceses; while he noted the idea is not always popular he does believe that “there are dioceses that can be merged.”

In response to his concerns, Pope Francis asked for the assembly to frank with him in their discussion, urging them to “speak openly,” and tell them to share “all the words, your concerns, criticisms.” His final reassurance? Proclaiming it is not a sin to criticize the pope.

“It is not a sin to criticize the Pope here! It is not a sin, it can be done.”

You can read Pope Francis’ full address to the General Assembly on the Vatican’s website here.

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Comments

10 COMMENTS

  1. Not only is it not a sin, it is necessary when he does not truthfully proclaim God’s law and His teachings. It is a sin to stay silent when the Faith is attacked.

  2. Your title is incomplete and therefore out of context and misleading. It should read, ” It is not a sin to criticize the Pope here!” Please don’t do what the secular media does.

  3. We now share our pastor with another church due to the shortage of priests. When this occurs you really get a wake up call . My generation was spoiled in the fact that we had a Catholic Church on each corner with a Catholic School to attend. I was Italian so of course I attended the Italian Church and School for 12 years. I was very blessed. Our poor pastor who is not young in years and has health problems, splits his time between two churches and also makes a 14-15 mile drive each week between the churches. . These miles do not seem very far ,but, having to be a pastor to 2 churches requires a lot of work. We live in the north so he faces this drive in snow, ice, rain and heavy winds.
    We as parishioners have felt the loss of not having a full time pastor. There are no longer daily masses to attend and masses on weekends have been drastically reduced. Times for going to confession have been changed. No more can we just drive to the parish office to talk to our Pastor about a problem we are having and need advise. This year our Confirmation class was merged with 3 other churches to make it easy on the Bishop and Priests of the parishes.
    Should Pope Francis be blamed for this? We in part are all to blame as we have allowed this all to happen. Catholic Schools are closing due to the low enrollment of children. Churches are being closed or torn down or rented out due to the low attendance of parishioners and Catholics who have strayed from their religion. There is also the problem that all churches have a “HOUSE” that needs financial help. They pay for all utilities and maintenance as we, but there monthly bills are quite a bit higher than ours. The weekly collections have drastically reduced.
    Our generation has changed in many ways and sadly not for the better. We as parents have an obligation to set a foundation to all our children. So many of our catholic children have not received the sacraments. Many of our catholic children have no idea who that man on the cross is. Many of our catholic children have no idea what the true meaning of Christmas is. It is certainly not about presents. WE make sure our children have everything that is popular but we fail to teach them about the most important person in their life. That is Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.
    There is a big crisis in our catholic churches. Yes, there has been damage done to children by very sick priests and were covered up and just sent to a different parish. Their punishment will be given by God when they die. So many Catholics are blaming this on why they have strayed away from the faith.
    We as Catholics can change what is going on. The only person who suffers is ourselves and our children who will one day be the leaders.

  4. I hope and pray Pope Francis will accept that he sinned and failed to accept that God says “man shall not lay with man” and that homosexuality is a sin against God. It has been reported that Pope Francis told a man from Chile that God “made him gay”. God would never do that. The second part of Pope Francis’s statement to this man is true, “God does love him”.
    I wish Pope Francis well and pray he is granted wisdom from Jesus Christ. But I long for and miss the days of our last Pope who had received wisdom from Jesus, loved the world, and was loved by the world, Pope John-Paul II.
    May God bless Popes Francis, Benedict XVI, John-Paul II, and John XXIII.

  5. i wanted to be a priest but i am not smart enough and i also know someone else who wanted to be one and they turned him down because of his grades. If Peter was just a fisherman, how come i cant fish people for God.

    • I wonder what kind of knowledge you need, showing mathamatical geneous, ability to write and read fully acclaimed authors works etc.or the love of God that you want to dedicate your whole life completely, to him. I think more attention should be given to the commitment to God, than the ability to a perfect school tests.

  6. The priest shortage may have been caused by the bogus spirit of Vatican 2; with it, the Church ushered out 100,000 nuns and religious with 10,000 priests in the USA alone. The reasoning went something like this if you think that you are living the religious life because of your mother or someone else said you had a vocation it was not your vocation then you can leave the priesthood or religious life simply apply. The bogus spirit of Vatican 2 came from the enemy infiltrators in the Church. Of such, Pope Francis lamented that the Vatican has lobbies of Masons and lobbies of homosexuals. Ninety-five percent of the pedophile priests are homosexuals. The priesthood is no place for such.

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