(UPI) -- The Papal Nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Vigano, asked church leaders Monday to be “pastoral” bishops and not to defend a particular ideology at the opening of the U.S. bishops’ autumn conference.
The Italian native, the representative of the Vatican in the United States, expressed the message of Pope Francis. He said the Holy Father “wants bishops in tune with their people." Vigano added that "no one can dispute the clear fact that our Holy Father himself, as the Supreme Teacher, is giving us, by his own witness, an example of how to live a life attuned to the values of the Gospel.”
Remembering an encounter he had with Francis in June, Vigano said he “made a special point of saying he wants pastoral bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology”, the Catholic News Agency reported.
“I urge you, my brothers, to preserve a spirit of real unity among yourselves and, of course, with the successor of Peter, trusting in the way he sees best to live out his mission to mankinf”, the Nuncio said to the U.S. Bishops Conference, which will continue their General Assembly until Thursday.
Among other things, the bishops will elect their new president, to substitute New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. In his final address to the Conference as President, Dolan urged his colleagues to defend religious freedom. “We (…) must become advocates and champions for these Christians whose lives literally hang in the balance, as we dare not allow our laudable battles over religious freedom at home to obscure the actual violence being inflicted on Christians elsewhere.”