‘Jesus was Not a Prince’ – Clergy are Warned
Clergy who use their position for personal gain rather than to help those in need do not follow the spirit of Jesus who took upon himself the sufferings of others, Pope Francis said.
Jesus often would rebuke such leaders and warned his followers to “do what they say but not what they do”, the pope said at his weekly general audience.
“Jesus was not a prince,” the pope said. “It is awful for the Church when pastors become princes, far from the people, far from the poorest people. That is not the spirit of Jesus.”
Pope Francis explained that when Jesus said: “Take my yoke upon you,” he was calling all disciples to follow him and not simply a set of rules like the scribes and the Pharisees did.
“He wants to teach them that they will discover the will of God through his person, through Jesus, not through frigid laws and prescriptions that Jesus himself condemned,” the pope said.
Christ’s final command in the Bible passage, “Learn from me,” invites disciples to follow a path of “knowledge and imitation”.
“Jesus is not a master who severely imposes burdens upon others that he does not carry,” the pope said. “This was the accusation he made against the doctors of the law.”
Jesus was “a pastor who was among the people, among the poor”, Pope Francis said. “He worked every day with them.”
“The Lord teaches us to not be afraid to follow him, because we will not be disillusioned by placing hope in him,” he said. “We are therefore called to learn from him what it means to live in mercy in order to be instruments of mercy.”—By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS