LIMA – Pope Francis called on Peruvian bishops not to fear “denouncing abuses and excesses,” as St. Toribio Mongrovejo did, during a meeting at the Lima archbishopric on the last day of his visit to the South American country.
The pontiff met with about 60 bishops at the archbishopric and in his remarks he gave them the example of the efforts of the Spanish archbishop of Lima from 1579-1606, the patron of the Latin American archbishopric.
Francis said that St. Toribio was an example of a “builder of ecclesiastical unity” and founded his life on providing guidance for prelates.
St. Toribio spent most of his bishopric traveling and living outside Lima and was “what we would call a street bishop today ... (who) proclaimed the Gospel to everyone, everywhere ... without fear.”
The pope said that the saint learned the local indigenous languages and told the bishops that they now had to learn a “totally new language such as the digital one, to set an example and know the current language of our youth, our families and children.”
Francis said that St. Toribio saw the abuses and excesses suffered by the indigenous peoples and he exhorted bishops today to be unafraid to “denounce the abuses and excesses that are committed (against) the people.”
He said that one cannot “deny the tensions, the differences (within ecclesiastical communities) because a life without conflicts is impossible,” but rather one must take them on “in unity, in honest and sincere dialogue, looking ourselves in the face.”
“Work for unity, don’t remain prisoners of divisions that paralyze and reduce the vocation to which we have been called,” Francis said.