World

Pope urges bishops to be more like Christ: Stop ordering faithful around, fight corruption

  • Pope Francis prays during the opening session of a Italian Episcopal Conference meeting, at the Vatican, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis prays during the opening session of a Italian Episcopal Conference meeting, at the Vatican, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • A bishop photographs Pope Francis as he delivers his speech during the opening session of a Italian Episcopal Conference meeting, at the Vatican, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    A bishop photographs Pope Francis as he delivers his speech during the opening session of a Italian Episcopal Conference meeting, at the Vatican, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis delivers his speech, as bishops in foreground listen, during the opening session of a Italian Episcopal Conference meeting, at the Vatican, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope Francis delivers his speech, as bishops in foreground listen, during the opening session of a Italian Episcopal Conference meeting, at the Vatican, Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis is giving marching orders to his bishops, telling them to strongly denounce corruption and to act more like pastors than "pilots" ordering the faithful around.

Francis had strong words for members of the Italian bishops' conference, which opened its annual meeting at the Vatican on Monday. Francis, who is also the bishop of Rome, urged bishops to be more like Christ in showing humility, compassion, mercy and wisdom.

He also complained that the Catholic Church often organizes conferences where "the same voices" are heard over and over, an apparent reference to the practice of hosting only like-minded speakers.

Francis said such a practice "drugs the community, homogenizing choices, opinions and people." He urged bishops to instead go "where the Holy Spirit asks them to go."