On a visit to Sicily, the Pope has told Catholics that if they do not trust a priest they should tell him why.
Francis flew to Palermo to mark the 25th anniversary of the mafia assassination in a Palermo slum of a “martyr priest,” the Rev. Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi, who was beatified in 2013.
He told the gathering that God and the mafia are not compatible. Francis also encouraged followers to confront priests in whom they have no confidence:
“Some young people say they trust God but they don’t trust the Church. When you ask them why they say they are “mangiaprete” (meaning: they don’t like priests). So if you are a “mangiaprete”, go to the priest and tell him directly: I don’t trust you because of this, this and that.”
The visit comes as pressure on Francis mounts to say what he knew about the previous sexual misconduct of a U.S. cardinal before he was stripped of his rank.
Pope Francis was greeted with warmth and enthusiasm in Sicily but it is against a backdrop of a Catholic church battered by revelations that many priests and bishops sexually abused children or protected abusers.
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