11/12/2018, 13.58
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Pope: the bishop must be an 'administrator of God', not of goods, of power

A bishop should not be arrogant or conceited, not angry and not addicted to wine, one of the most common vices in the time of Paul, not a businessman or attached to money. "The Church has never been born perfectly in order, with everything all right, without problems, without confusion, never. It has always arisen this way ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The bishop must be an 'administrator of God', not of goods, of power, "humble, meek, servant, not prince". Only in this way can we put order in the Church which " has never been born perfectly in order”, Pope Francis said at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the passage from Paul's letter to Titus.

Fervor and disorder are the two words used by Francis to recount how the Church was born, also remembering the "admirable things" accomplished. "There is always confusion - he said - the power of the Spirit, chaos, yet we must not be afraid”, because in reality “it is a beautiful sign”. Jorge Mario Bergoglio assures us that “the Church was never born all organized, all in place, without problems, without confusion, never. She was always born that way”. And the confusion, “this disorder, must be fixed. It’s true, because things must be put in order; let’s think, for example, of the first Council of Jerusalem: there was the struggle between the Judaizing and the non-Judaizing... Let’s think about it well: they do the Council and fix things”.

For this reason - continued the Pope - Paul left Titus in Crete to put things in order, reminding him that “faith comes first”. At the same time, he provides some criteria and instructions on the figure of the bishop "as administrator of God". " The definition he gives is “administrator of God”, not of goods, of power, of lobbies, no: of God. He always has to correct himself and ask himself, “Am I an administrator of God or am I a businessman?”. The bishop is the administrator of God. So he is called to be “blameless: this is the same word that God asked Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless”. It is the founding word of a leader”.  

A bishop, Francis said, must not be arrogant or proud, not angry or dedicated to wine, one of the most frequent vices at the time of Saint Paul; and, as the Pontiff often reiterates, a bishop must not be a businessman or attached to money. Such a bishop, even with only one of these defects, would be “a calamity for the Church”.  Instead he must be ready to “give hospitality, be a lover of “good”, sensible, just, holy, master of himself, faithful to the Word worthy of faith that has been taught to him”. This is how to be a true servant of the Lord. This is “the profile of the bishop. And when investigations are made for the election of bishops, wouldn’t it be nice to ask these questions at the beginning? To find out if one can go forward with other investigations. But, above all, to see if the bishop is humble, meek, servant, not a prince.  

This is the Word of God. “Ah, yes, Father, that’s true, that’s what must be done after Vatican II...”-”No, after Paul!”. This is not a post-conciliar novelty - Francis affirmed - This is from the beginning, when the Church realized that it had to put some order with bishops of this kind”.  In the Church “there can’t be order without this kind of attitude from the bishops”.  What counts before God is not to be nice, to preach well, but humility and service. Recalling the memory of Saint Josaphat, bishop and martyr, Francis asked for prayers for the bishops because "they are so, we are like that, as Paul asks us to be".

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