The Italian bishops should discuss about their concerns like priest shortage or the merger of dioceses “freely”, said Pope Francis talking to the Italian bishops at the Vatican.
According to VaticanNews.va (May 22), Francis added that there should be no fear of giving offense.
And, “It is not a sin to criticize the Pope here. It is not a sin, it can be done.”
Francis has said similar things in the past but is known to be vindictive against those he perceives has his critics.