Pope Francis signs the preface to a book that has just been published by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop emeritus of Genoa and former president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
By Linda Bordoni
Pastori Dentro. Chiesa, società e persona” (“Pastors within: Church, society and person”) is the title of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco’s book which has just been published by Pauline Books & Media in Italian.
Expressing his joy at being asked to write the preface to the book, Pope Francis says the Cardinal’s reflections stem from his considerations and reflections during his second term as president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
He expresses his satisfaction for the author’s attention to subjects such as education, the family, poverty and politics, “with the intention of bringing them back to their original principle”: the announcement of Jesus .
“Faced with the ongoing anthropological change, which concerns not only the European context, but also, more generally, the whole world”, says the Pope, the path is and remains education in the faith, to rediscover “the person”. , beginning with the mystery of Christ.
He adds that these pages are not just a tribute to history, but a guide to how bishops are called to read the signs of our times.
The bishop – the pastor – he says, must strive to look at his brothers and sisters in the Lord with an attitude of service and knowing that his life “does not belong to him because it is given to God”.
“The pastor must proclaim the Word of God and incarnate it in the church and in the personal life,” writes the Pope, noting that in this proclamation, and the path that follows, lies the true joy of the shepherds who carry “the ‘sheep smell’. , who live in the midst of their herd and are “fishers of men”.
The Pope appreciates the title of this volume which, he says, suggests that bishops are “inner pastors” and he calls on them to always fix their gaze on those who are hurt and excluded.
Cardinal Bagnasco, he continues, has succeeded in showing us that the Church is a living, breathing organism, and not just a bureaucratic organization to which some would like to reduce it.
Concluding the preface, Pope Francis praises the literary work for the help and guidance it offers to all of the Lord’s pastors, and notes that reading is recommended not only for bishops and their collaborators, but also for lay people and for Christians who feel “distant” because it helps “to stimulate reflection and to live our time”.