The Great Accuser is trying to uncover bishops’ sins in order to scandalise the people, Pope Francis has said.
In a homily at Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, the Pope told bishops that they seem to be under attack from the devil.
The best way for bishops to fight this, he added, is by being men of prayer who remain close to the people and who have the humility to remember they were chosen by God, Vatican News reports.
The Pope said that prayer is “a bishop’s consolation in difficult times,” because “Jesus is praying for me and for all bishops.”
Referring to the devil, Pope Francis said: “In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops.”
“True, we are all sinners, we bishops,” he added. “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.”
Bishops must remain humble, he added, because they were chosen by God.
“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. 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.”
A good bishop also does not “try to find refuge with the powerful of elite,” Pope Francis said.
“The ‘elites’ criticise bishops, while the people has an attitude of love towards the bishop.
“This is almost a special unction that confirms the bishop in his vocation.”