‘Not praying for leaders is a sin,’ says Pope Francis

If leaders do wrong, the more prayers they need, he said during his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Mexico 2016. Photo by Marko Vombergar/ALETEIA / Flickr / CC 2.0
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Pope Francis has said that political leaders need to pray and that Catholics themselves must pray for those in power, even for those leaders they do not agree with, to help them make wise choices.

Leaders should govern well like Solomon and ask God for wisdom, the pope said during his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on September 18, reported Vatican Radio.

“It is very important for leaders to pray, asking the Lord not to take away the awareness of being subordinate and not to find strength in a little group or in myself,” Pope Francis said during his homily that followed the First Reading from St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy.

The pope also advised those leaders who are agnostic or atheists.

“If you cannot pray, confront yourself with your conscience, with the wisdom of your people, but do not remain isolated with the small group of your political party.”

The pope said that Catholics cannot become indifferent to their leaders but they need to pray for them so to assist them to make correct decisions. Moreover, if leaders do wrong, the more prayers they need, he said.

The pontiff asked Catholics to consider leaders in their prayers.

“‘Do I pray for all leaders?’ And if you find in your examination of conscience before Confession that you have not prayed for your leaders, bring it to Confession. Because not to pray for leaders is a sin,” Pope Francis concluded.

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