Thursday, April 29, 2010

Different Views of Leadership

I am sorry, but when I saw this picture on the National Catholic Reporter website, I got ill. It was taken at the High Mass, in the Tridentine rite, which was celebrated at the National Basilica in D.C. by Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, OK. I really feel that this has no place in a post Vatican II Church. Seeing the bishop move majestically down the aisle, with the laity bowing to him, where is the image of the servant leader?

I know enough Church history to know how some of these practices came about. And I know there are those who feel that the dignity of the Church was decreased when Pope Paul VI cut back on the pomp, no longer wearing the papal tiara, reducing the number of papal processional escorts, getting rid of those “imperial” fans, and bishops and cardinals reduced the regalia. But I keep remembering what Our Lord said: “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors,’ but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.” (Luke 22: 25-26).

Through baptism, we all have a share in Christ’s priestly office, but there are those who are called by the Spirit to serve the faithful as ordained bishops and priests. When they forget that they are servant leaders, then we see a very least a low opinion of the laity, at worst, abuse of power. And what the Church really needs in this time of crisis are more servant leaders.
Picture from CNS


  1. Truly uncomfortable...and at a time of financial problems all around. May God give us holy voices to speak to us now!

  2. Gee, I kind of like the Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form. For some reason it seems to fit well with me.