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 Sept. 14 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.” As is customary, before speaking, Pope Francis made his way around St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile, greeting thousands of pilgrims who waved, kissing children presented for a blessing and even taking repeated sips of the mate tea offered by an Argentine pilgrim. In his talk, the pope reflected on Jesus’ tenderness toward the poor, the suffering and the oppressed and his invitation, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” In Jesus, he said, “they finally find the answer they have been waiting for. By becoming his disciples, they will receive the promise of finding rest for their whole life.”
I was reminded of this picture from last winter: my pastor, Bishop Paul Sanchez, acting very princely.