The Perspective of Justice

Authority

“You are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I will build my church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it.” The Catholic Church has always looked up to today’s Gospel as the cornerstone of the Petrine ministry, the special role played by the successor of Peter. Catholics believe that the Bishop of Rome exercises a special authority over the church.

Authority within the context of the People of God is a special kind of authority. The reading from Isaiah is about removal from office for abuse of authority and replacement by someone who shall be a father.

The purpose of authority in the church, authority at any level, is not to control the lives of others but rather to help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world.

Those with any authority in the church should reflect on their exercise of that authority, and those under authority should reflect on their attitude to the leaders of the church. All of us should join in praying that the Lord grant peace and unity to the Church
For the nurturing and constant growth of the People of God, the Lord instituted in His Church a variety of ministries, which work for the good of the whole body.

For those ministers who are endowed with sacred power are servants of their brethren, so that all who are of the People of God, and therefore enjoy a true Christian dignity, can work toward a common goal freely and in an orderly way, and arrive at salvation.

Vatican II, Constitution on the Church, 1964:18.

Gerald Darring

Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at Amazon.com.

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson