We lament, together with Pope Francis, that clerical ambition for power has damaged the whole Church’s authority. For ‘power’ is what mammon offers its slaves whereas ‘authority’ or credibility is a grace that God bestows only on those dedicated to serving the powerless. Even Jesus was tested as to which of the two masters he would serve (Lk. 4:5-8). In turn he exhorted his immediate disciples to opt for service rather than “lording it over others” (Lk. 22:24-27). For they too were embroiled in a power struggle (Mk. 9:34ff)! Peter, too, felt obliged to warn the bishops of his day not to be greedy for power and money (1 Pt. 5:1-3). Since then the history of the Church-leadership has been marred by abuse of power. Pope St Paul VI had put it well: “the Church is holy in its Head (Christ) and sinful in its members. Wherefore ecclesia semper reformanda: the Church must be subject to incessant reform.Login to read more
The writer is an Indologist-cum-Theologian and the founder-director of the Tulana Research Centre.