About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.”
— His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI (11 May 2005)

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Attitudes toward Ministry
published 1 January 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

A priest who teaches seminarians was giving a lecture to them about wrong ways to minister. I happened to sit in on the class and I took notes on points that seemed to me to apply not only to priests but to all Catholics in leadership.

To summarize some of the points made:

The priest is a mediator between the people and God out of love, not out of power. He is not “the king of kings,” but the footwasher.

He will not be afraid that his weaknesses will be manifest, but, instead, should evangelize through his weaknesses as a wounded healer not as the judge; listening to what they say and what they don’t say. [I didn’t take this to mean that the priestly ministry does not include teaching and judging in the confessional, etc. but that these should not be done either out of a sense of power but out of love.] The pastor should not make it seem as “if you disagree with me, you are in trouble.” He should not appear as a know-it-all. Some priests seem like giants of intellect but dwarves in the heart.

If the priest realizes that he has been wounded, then he puts himself in the shoes of those also wounded. He should not think of others as sick and dysfunctional, but as vulnerable brothers. They are dealing with their hurt. The Church is not a democracy, but also not an aristocracy. The middle ground is ministry of love.