CALLED TO BE SERVANTS
January 7, 2014
Pope Francis wants priests to be simple, humble servants. Indeed that is what they are supposed to be, just as all of us laypeople who serve the Lord. For us in CFC-FFL, we in fact enshrined Servant Leadership as a basic Core Value.
There is always the danger, even in Church work, that those appointed as leaders will look to title, position, power, privilege, etc. Once that happens, things go wrong. They become protective of turf, they get hurt when they are not acknowledged, they become proud, they impress people with their position and authority, they lord it over their subordinates, they insist on their own importance, and so on.
One reason I like LCSC is because there is no structure, no hierarchy, no elders, no titles (except for a few due to practical purposes), no turf, no infighting. Brethren just do work, anonymously, without recognition or commendation. How I wish all our seniors were just humble servant leaders.
Titles of course can be necessary, just to identify one’s function or responsibilities. But what is not needed is any kind of honorific. That is also why, even in giving titles to our pastoral leaders, we changed the title “head” to “servant” (as in Chapter Servant rather than Chapter Head).
But whatever the title, at the end of the day it is about one’s heart. One is a leader but one is a servant, according to the heart of Jesus who emptied himself and took the form of a slave, not grasping at the reality that he was God.
Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 12:32 PM
Pope Francis has done away with the honorific title “monsignor” for all but a few priests, further evidence of his desire for priests to be simple, humble servants.
The Vatican’s Secretary of State sent a letter to its embassies asking them to inform bishops’ conferences of the change.
From now on, the Vatican reported Tuesday, only diocesan priests who are “chaplains of the Holy Father,” can use the honorific, and then only after they turn 65.
Bishops, vicars, and archbishops still get to be called “monsignor” and Holy See officials will have the title if their office warrants it.
The Vatican noted that Pope Paul VI reduced the number of ecclesiastic honorifics in 1968 and that Francis’ decision “should be taken in this vein, as a further simplification.”