Stay focussed on Jesus, Pope tells Archbishops

Pope Francis

After placing woollen bands, called palliums, over the shoulders of 24 archbishops from around the world, Pope Francis urged them to trust in God and not seek refuge in power or prestige, Catholic News Service reports.

'Trust in God banishes all fear and sets us free from every form of slavery and all worldly temptations,' he told the Archbishops from 22 countries who were named over the course of the last year.

The lamb's wool pallium they received from the Pope on Sunday symbolises their unity with Pope and their authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to them.

As is customary, an Orthodox delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople attended the Mass for the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, the patron saints of the Vatican and the city of Rome. Pope Francis greeted Metropolitan John of Pergamon, head of the delegation, at the beginning of the liturgy in St Peter's Basilica, then walked with him after Mass to venerate the statue of St Peter in the basilica built over his tomb.

In addition to the Mass and the recitation of the Angelus afterward, Pope Francis had a full weekend of appointments. His last-minute cancellation of a visit to Rome's Gemelli Hospital the afternoon of last Friday (June 27) raised concerns about his health.

Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, had said the Pope suddenly felt ill, but there was no reason for alarm. 

During his homily, Pope Francis asked the Archbishops to consider what, if anything, makes them afraid.

'And if we are afraid, what forms of refuge do we seek in our pastoral life to find security? Do we look for support from those who wield worldly power? Or do we let ourselves be deceived by the pride which seeks gratification and recognition, thinking that these will offer us security?'

He told the Archbishops, 'Today the Lord repeats to me, to you, and to all pastors: Follow me! Waste no time in questioning or in useless chattering; do not dwell on secondary things, but look to what is essential and follow me.'

FULL COVERAGE

Pope, giving archbishops palliums, says stay focused on following Jesus (Catholic News Service)

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