Shun princely, clerical attitude! Pope’s Morning Homily

Pope’s Morning Homily ‘Real’ Authority Enters Hearts


At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Speaks on 3 Characteristics of Jesus’ Authority. Give up Princely, Clerical psychology. Take up the “kneeling to serve attitude” of the Good Samariton.

L'Osservatore Romano

James Kottor(Note: Cardinals are called the “princes of the Church”! What a contradiction to the explicit teaching and example of Jesus and Pope Francis. CCV sent repeated requests to CBCI and the Synod of Syromalabar bishops now in Synod in Kerala to stop forthwith the abominable practice of being addressed as princes, “Your Grace,Excellency et.” They have not and they will not even answer those requests. They will pretend they have not seen or heard it. That is how they lord it over the Laity.

When are our bishops going to give up the psychology of princes and take up the psychology of ‘servants’? Listen to Francis: “These,” Francis said, “had a psychology of princes: ‘We are the masters, the princes, and we teach you. Not service: we command, you obey.’

Our bishops and priests have princely or clerical psychology, not the servant psychology of Jesus which is exemplified best in the parable of the Good Samaritan, who never hesitated to kneel down beside the man robbed and wounded on the road.

Just think of our own aversion to touch a leper. Honestly this scribe thought of it hundreds of times and of my own attitude and aversion in comparison to Fr. Damian of Molokau or Francis embracing a man borne deformed or the example of Mother Teresa and said several times: “Mea culpa” for my natural aversion in spite of my wanting to do the opposite. But suppose, I did it purposely and deliberately after thinking of it?

To which category do our bishops and priests belong? It is for them to evaluate themselves and do the needed correction. But “kudos” to Francis for speaking it out without mincing words to our ‘princely’ battalion. Will any of them dare to open their mouth and admit they are guilty of “princely, clerical” attitude  and behavior?

Bishop Alex Dias of Portblaire, whom I have never met, has written to me the longest letters ever from bishops. In one of them he wrote, since he is always busy on his missionary journeys from Island to Island and has little time to spare: ‘James don’t expect any emails from me but I will be sending you my “Kneemails” regularly’. This is what I understand by servant attitude Pope speaks of and Jesus exemplifies.

There is no cure for the ones who do not admit they are sick. james kottoor, editor)

Authority, if true, will enter hearts, like Jesus’ did. But if it’s just formal, it won’t …. According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he shared the three characteristics of Jesus’ ‘real’ authority, as opposed to that which was just formal, that of the Pharisees.

Recalling that today’s Gospel speaks of the amazement of the people because Jesus taught “as one who has authority” and not like the scribes, whose teachings never entered the people’s hearts. He was not a “seducer,” He taught the Law “down to the last point,” He taught the Truth, but with authority.

Being at Service of Others

Noting the first characteristic was ‘serving people,’ Francis stressed how Jesus always served others, and took on the attitude of servant, which gave him authority. On the other hand, the Pope explained, these doctors of the law that the people, even if they listened to and respected, didn’t really feel they had authority over them.

“These,” Francis said, “had a psychology of princes: ‘We are the masters, the princes, and we teach you. Not service: we command, you obey.’ And Jesus never passed Himself off like a prince: He was always the servant of all, and this is what gave Him authority.'”

Closeness to the people

The second characteristic that confers authority, Francis stressed, is being close to the people, one which Jesus demonstrated, and the Pharisees did not.

“Jesus did not have an allergy to the people: touching the lepers, the sick, didn’t make Him shudder,” Pope Francis explained, noting how on the other hand, the Pharisees despised “the poor people, the ignorant,” they liked to walk about the piazzas, in nice clothing.”

“They were detached from the people, they were not close [to them]; Jesus was very close to the people, and this gave authority. Those detached people, these doctors, had a clericalist psychology: they taught with a clericalist authority – that’s clericalism.”

The Pontiff also expressed how he enjoys reading about the closeness to the people the Blessed Paul VI had. In number 48 of Evangelii nuntiandi, Francis noted, “one sees the heart of a pastor who is close [to the people].”


The third point that distinguishes the authority of the scribes from that of Jesus, Francis stressed, is ‘coherence.’

Jesus “lived what He preached,” the Pope highlighted, while criticizing the ‘princes’ who possessed ‘clericalist attitudes.’ The Pope, in order to make this better understood, recalled the parable of the Good Samaritan, and reiterated the servant, close, and coherent real authority of our Lord.

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