05/21/2013, 00.00
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Pope: there should be no power struggle within the Church, because real power, according to Jesus, is service

In this morning's Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis stressed how the Gospel shows that the disciples were already arguing over who was greatest among them. In the Church however, "the greatest is the one who serves the most, the one who is in the service of others the most." This "is the rule." And yet, from the start until now, there have been "power struggles within the church."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Power struggles within the Church began during Jesus' lifetime, but they "should not exist" precisely because Jesus' example teaches us that "the power is service" and that "the greatest is the one who serves the most," the pope said. As he has done during the Mass, he celebrates every morning at Domus Sanctae Marthae, the pontiff continued today to deliver his lessons on reforms "within" the curia based on the primacy of ethical ways of life and attitudes over structural reforms.

Thus, today he said that for Christians, service is real power; for that reason, power struggles have no place in the Church. As Vatican Radio reported, the pope spoke about today's Gospel, talking about what Jesus said about his passion, as his disciples were busy arguing over who was the greatest among them. "The power struggle within the Church," the Holy Father noted, "is not something new;" indeed it "began during Jesus' lifetime."

However, "from Jesus' evangelical perspective, power struggles within the Church must not exist" because real power, the one the Lord "taught us by his example" is "the power to serve."

"Service is real power. As he did it, as the one who came not to be served but to serve, his service was but the service to the Cross. He humbled himself unto death, even death on a cross for us, to serve us, to save us. Within the Church, there is no other way to move forward. For Christians, going ahead, progress means humbling oneself. If we do not learn this Christian rule, we shall never, never be able understand the true message of Jesus on the power."

Moving forward, then, "means humbling oneself" and "serving always". In the Church, "the greatest is the one who serves the most, the one who is in the service of others the most." This "is the rule." And yet from the start until now, there have been "power struggles within the Church," even "in our way of speaking."

"In the eyes of the world, when someone is given a higher charge, people say, 'Ah, this woman was promoted to president of this association or that man was promoted . . . !' This verb, to promote, is, yes, a beautiful verb, and must be used within the Church. Yes, this one was promoted to the Cross; that one was promoted to humiliation. This is the true promotion, resembling the most to Jesus!"

The Pope said that Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in the Spiritual Exercises, asked the Crucified Lord for "the grace of humiliation." This is "the true power of the Church's service." This is the true way of Jesus, the true promotion; not the ways of the world.

"His service is the way of the Lord. As He made His service, we have to follow Him, the way of service. This is real power within the Church. Now I would like to pray for all of us, that the Lord may give us the grace to understand this, namely that real power within the Church is service; and also to understand the golden rule that He taught us by His example. For Christians, progress, moving forward means humbling oneself. Let ask for this grace."

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