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Santa Marta: A Bishop is a Servant, not a Prince

Humble Servants Necessary for the Church to Get Organized and Function

The bishop is a “servant”, “humble and gentle”, and not a “prince” Pope Francis stressed in his November 12, 2018, homily for his morning Mass, in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. A summary was reported by Vatican News.

“It is the Word of God that proclaims that the bishop must be a humble and gentle servant, not a prince…This is not a post-conciliar novelty, but it goes back to the beginnings of the Church when the He realized that she had to get organized,” the pope said.

“In the Church, we cannot bring order without these type of bishops”, insisted the Pope: what counts before God, he recalled is not to be “friendly” but “Humility” and “service”.

“Things must be organized” in the Church, says Pope Francis. This was already the concern of the first council in Jerusalem: the apostles had to “think” about the “salvation of non-Jews”.

To Titus, who is in Crete, St. Paul recalled, observed the pope, that “the first thing is faith.” And then the bishop must be an “administrator of God”, not “material” goods or “power…The bishop must always correct himself by asking himself this question: Am I an administrator of God or a business man ? ”

And, as administrator of God, he must behave in an “irreproachable” way, said Pope Francis. He pointed out that this is already what God asked of Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless”. The Pope said this is “fundamental” for a “leader”.

Here are the faults to avoid for a bishop, insisted Pope Francis: he must not be “arrogant”, “proud”, “angry”, or “indulge in alcoholic beverages”, and be attached to ” “Money”: “A bishop of this kind, even if he had only one of these defects is a calamity for the Church.”

And these are the qualities to be cultivated by the bishop, beginning with “hospitality”, and then “being in love with good”, “reasonable, just, holy, master of oneself, faithful to the word that has been taught to him” .

Pope Francis referred to “surveys conducted to appoint a bishop” to state that “these questions should be asked from the beginning as to whether further assessments should be conducted next”.

About Anita Bourdin

France. Journalist accreditated to the Holy See press office since 1995. Started Zenit in french in january 1999. Classical litterature (Paris IV-Sorbonne). Master in journalism (IJRS Bruxelles). Biblical theology (PUG, Rome).

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