POPE FRANCIS WARNS "EVIL PASTORS"
IN HIS OPENING SPEECH TO THE WORLD'S CATHOLIC BISHOPS GATHERED FOR THE SYNOD IN ROME POPE FRANCIS SHOT A WARNING SHOT ACROSS THE HEADS OF THOSE HE CALLED "EVIL PASTORS".
Using yesterday's Sunday Gospel about the tenants of the vineyard taking over the vineyard for their own greed the Pope reminded bishops and priests that they are where they are to SERVE and not to LORD IT OVER the People of God.
This will have been a severe blow to those priests and bishops around the world who are not men of faith, prayer and true pastor-ship.
Sadly there will be many cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests around the world today who would not be sorry if Pope Francis took a heart attack and died!
There may even be a small number of "evil pastors" in the Vatican today wondering if they would get away with killing another pope a mere 35 years after killing a first one!
Here is Francis' homily with my underlinings:
Today the Prophet Isaiah and the Gospel employ the image of the Lord’s vineyard. The Lord’s vineyard is his “dream”, the plan which he nurtures with all his love, like a farmer who cares for his vineyard. Vines are plants which need much care!
God’s “dream” is his people. He planted it and nurtured it with patient and faithful love, so that it can become a holy people, a people which brings forth abundant fruits of justice.
But in both the ancient prophecy and in Jesus’s parable, God’s dream is thwarted. Isaiah says that the vine which he so loved and nurtured has yielded “wild grapes” (5:2,4); God “expected justice but saw bloodshed, righteousness, but only a cry of distress” (v7). In the Gospel, it is the farmers themselves who ruin the Lord’s plan: they fail to do their job but think only of their own interests.
In Jesus’s parable, he is addressing the chief priests and the elders of the people, in other words the “experts”, the managers. To them in a particular way God entrusted his “dream”, his people, for them to nurture, tend and protect from the animals of the field. This is the job of leaders: to nuture the vineyard with freedom, creativity and hard work.
But Jesus tells us that those farmers took over the vineyard. Out of greed and pride they want to do with it as they will, and so they prevent God from realizing his dream for the people he has chosen.
The temptation to greed is ever present. We encounter it also in the great prophecy of Ezekiel on the shepherds, which St Augustine commented upon in one his celebrated sermons which we have just reread in the Liturgy of the Hours. Greed for money and power. And to satisfy this greed, evil pastors lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move.
We too, in the synod of bishops, are called to work for the Lord’s vineyard. Synod assemblies are not meant to discuss beautiful and clever ideas, or to see who is more intelligent… They are meant to better nuture and tend the Lord’s vineyard, to help realise his dream, his loving plan for his people. In this case the Lord is asking us to care for the family, which has been from the beginning an integral part of his loving plan for humanity.
We are all sinners and can also be tempted to “take over” the vineyard, because of that greed which is always present in us human beings. God’s dream always clashes with the hypocrisy of some of his servants. We can “thwart” God’s dream if we fail to let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us that wisdom which surpasses knowledge, and enables us to work generously with authentic freedom and humble creativity.
My Synod brothers, to do a good job of nurturing and tending the vineyard, our hearts and our minds must be kept in Jesus Christ by “the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7). In this way our thoughts and plans will correspond to God’s dream: to form a holy people who are his own and produce the fruits of the kingdom of God.
What are the "evils" Francis is referring to?
1. Bishops and priests being on pedestals instead of being down with the people as servants and fellow travellers.
2. Bishops abusing their power in the dioceses - and priests abusing their power in their parishes.
3. Bishops and priests abusing their powers over teachers, parents and children, in the schools over which they have control.
4. SINNER bishops and SINNER priests being judgemental and refusing the Sacraments to fellow sinners.
5. Bishops and priests abusing their power in the state and telling people how to vote.
6. Bishops and priests using the money belonging to the People of God to build themselves magnificent palaces and houses.
7. Bishops and priests alienating minority groups in society.
9. Bishops and priests doing the minimum of work and spending their days and nights on golf courses and in fine restaurants and far too many weeks a year on expensive holidays.
10. Bishops and priests preaching one thing on a Sunday and living hypocritical lives from Monday to Saturday.
11. Bishops and priests who have no faith and who never pray, continuing in their "jobs" because it is a cushy number.
Hey You Guys!
You are always talking to us about the Roman Catholic Church being the one true church.
You are always talking to us about being "in communion" with Rome.
You are always talking to us about obeying the Pope - the successor of Saint Peter.
Now its YOUR turn.
Listen to Pope Francis - or do the decent thing!