The power of the Pope and conciliar thinking

One of my high school classmates and fellow cub scouts, Greg Syler, is now a pastor. He wrote an excellent article about the new Pope Francis, “Real power, shared authority – Francis and Lumen Gentium.”

Greg brings up interesting insights like:

Part of me wonders if Benedict resigned because he knew that the reforms he dreamed of could only come about from the heart of one who embodied those ideals, one who grew up in that church, one who was younger than he.

He also brings up some very interesting points about power and how the new pope might actually share his power throughout the Catholic church. He also uses some really rad terms like “conciliar thinking.”

When I hear the word “power” brought up in the context of what people do, I freak out. I’ve been trained to think power = bad. I try to stay away from power for fear of it driving my ego through the roof. So it catches my interest to hear you speak of power as something to consider in the church.

This part of his article does calm me down: <blockquote”Desperately needed in more conciliar churches, then, are leaders who have enough self-confidence to be honest about what power is and how they?re using it or striving not to use it.”

Although, snap. It would be really hard for a church to have a leader that claims to have the almighty authority of Christ with “supreme and universal power over the Church.” That statement right there is a bit like power gone out of whack. We believe in Jesus Christ, not the human pope. To believe in the pope is a misplacement of faith which results in immense misplacement of power in the pope.

Yeah, I would love to have the pope acknowledge the Catholic church’s conciliar thinking and what that means. But first it acknowledge what it means to be sinners and how no governing body can be perfect. All humans are sinners, thus all governing bodies are sinful.

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