Pope Francis on September 11, 2018, warned that bishops are under attack from the “Great Accuser”, who wants to create scandal.
The Holy Father’s remarks came during his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican and were reported by Vatican News.
Despite the attack, the Pope reassured the congregation that bishops have the consolation of knowing God chose them for their mission. And they know that Jesus is praying for them.
“The bishop who loves Jesus is not trying to climb a ladder, advancing his vocation as if it were a mere task or seeking a better placement or promotion,” Francis said. “No. A bishop feels chosen and has the certainty of being chosen. This drives him to speak with the Lord: ‘You chose me, of little importance, a sinner.’ He is humble because he feels chosen and feels Jesus’ gaze upon his whole being. This gives him strength.
“The bishop cannot remain distant from the people; he cannot have attitudes that take him away from them… He doesn’t try to find refuge with the powerful or elite. No. The ‘elites’ criticize bishops, while the people have an attitude of love towards the bishop. This is almost a special unction that confirms the bishop in his vocation.
“In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The Great Accuser, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse’ A bishop’s strength against the Great Accuser is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”