Saturday, November 27

The Pope denounces the “abuse of power” in many ecclesial movements

The Pope greets a group of the faithful last week in Slovakia.

The Pope greets a group of the faithful last week in Slovakia.

The Pope has denounced the “abuse of power” and the “disloyalty” of some ecclesial movements and has warned of some pernicious attitudes such as “the risk of living in a ‘parallel world’, distilled, away from the true challenges of society“or of being” locked in an ‘ivory tower’ “.

“Not infrequently, the Holy See has had to intervene in recent years, putting in place sanitation processes that were not easy. And I am thinking not only of these ugly, noisy situations, but also of the illnesses that come from the weakening of the founding charism, which becomes lukewarm and loses its attractiveness “, the Pope revealed.

Francis made these statements within the framework of the meeting ‘The responsibility of government in lay groups: an ecclesial service’, organized by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, which summoned founders and moderators of associations of the faithful , ecclesial movements and new communities.

Many of them have attended in person, such as the founder of the New Horizons Community, Chiara Amirante, and the founder of the San Egidio Community, Andrea Riccardi, while others participate virtually.

Francis has thus recognized his concern about the abuses of power that occur in ecclesial realities and encouraged to live the government as a service and not fall into the desire for power.

“The exercise of governance within associations and movements is an issue that matters a lot to me, especially considering that the cases of abuse of various kinds that have also occurred in these groups and that always have their origin in abuse of power. That is the origin: the abuse of power“, has stood out.

In this way, it has echoed the decree of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life published on July 11, 2021 in which it disciplines the exercise of government in international associations of the faithful, private and public, and in other entities with legal personality subject to the direct supervision of the same Dicastery.

The Pope has warned of the obstacles that a Christian may encounter in his path and that prevent him from becoming a true servant of God and of others, such as “the desire for power.” “It’s a bad way to ‘discipline’. And we’ve seen it. So many – and I think of the congregations I know best – superior, yessuperior generals who remain in power forever and do a thousand, a thousand things to be reelected and reelected, even changing the constitutions. And there is a desire for power behind it. This does not help; it is the beginning of the end of an association, of a congregation “, has criticized.

In this sense, he stressed that it is necessary “to provide for a rotation in government positions and a representation of all members in their elections.” He has also warned of “disloyalty” that involves wanting to serve God and others, but actually serving one’s own ego. And he added: “We surrender to our desire to appear, to obtain recognition, appreciation … Let’s not forget that the true service is free and unconditional, it knows no calculations or claims.”

For this reason, the Pontiff has warned against the temptation to present himself as “the only heirs” of an association or movement or when, to believe himself “essential”.

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