RIO DE JANEIRO —
“There are pastoral plans which are ‘distant,’ ... which give priority to principles, forms of conduct, organizational procedures ... and clearly lack nearness, tenderness, a warm touch,” Francis said Sunday. “The bishop has to be among his people in three ways: in front of them, pointing the way; among them, keeping them together and preventing them from being scattered; and behind them, assuring that no one is left behind.”
But how do you take the Gospel to the street when the clergy are spread so thin? Nearly 25 percent of the world’s parishes don’t have a resident priest, according to Vatican statistics.