L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP
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Pope scolding Mexican bishops "badly advised"

Tue 08 Mar 2016
By Hannah Tooley

Mexico's main archdiocese has revealed that Pope Francis was badly advised when he directed harsh words to bishops during his visit to the country. 

The Pope visited Mexico in February and told a gathering of bishops not to be driven by their careers, but instead to listen to people.

He said: "We do not need 'princes', but rather a community of the Lord's witnesses."

AP Photo/Ivan Pierre Aguirre


The pontiff also urged the bishops to be more transparent: "If you have to fight, fight. If you have to say things, say them, but do it like men: to the face."

The archdiocese of Mexico published an editorial claiming that some of Pope Francis' comments were misinterpreted by "reporters more focused on histrionics than the deep meaning of the words".

It said: "The Mexican bishops have been accompanying the suffering, downtrodden people, devoting their lives to others and not living like 'princes'."

The piece went on to say that local bishops in the area were not out of touch with the people, and said the comments Pope Francis made "might be due to someone near him who gave him bad advice".

It finishes: "Who gave the Pope bad advice?"

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia


The piece received some attention and rector of the Pontifical University of Mexico, Mario Angel Flores, said the editorial was ill-advised.

He said the Pope's comments "were very frank words, inviting everyone to be more clear.

"They are trying to downplay and question his words, which is not the most correct thing to do."

Pope Francis' visit focused on the Mexican church's need to sort its priorities.

After a silent prayer Pope Francis said: "I prayed for the Mexican people, and one thing I prayed for a lot was that priests be true priests, and sisters be true sisters and bishops be true bishops as the Lord wants."

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