“More important than the Pope” – core business

Cardinal_Dolan_presides_Mass_at_St_Peters_Basilica_Alejandro_Bermudez_CNA_CNA_3_3_13“We’ve got to keep in mind — you know what, even more important than the pope is what we’re doing right now. The life of the church goes on, and the life of the church centers around what we’re doing right now.”

It may not have seemed like it over the past days, but the above quote from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, spoken in his homily last Sunday, is right on the money. The selection of the Church’s new supreme shepherd is undoubtedly important, but it – and he – are only so, literally, by the grace of God.

If the Church can be said to have a core business, it is to lead people to God, and that doesn’t change when there is no Pope. Cardinals, even when they’re getting ready for the conclave, are still tasked with that all-encompassing duty, as is made especially clear on every Sunday. New York’s Cardinal Dolan was just one of, by now, 142 cardinals who have arrived in Rome, and who offered Masses throughout the city.

2012044930shepherd_3In these hectic days, it is important to remember that everything we do as Catholic Christians is rooted in the sacrifice of Christ, made present every day in the Eucharist. In that light, the conclave is not a popularity contest or the selection of a new CEO. In the Gospel of John, Jesus gives St. Peter the triple command to take care of His sheep.  That very same command is handed down through the centuries to every successor of St. Peter, including whoever the future Pope may be. That is who we are talking about these days: the shepherd of Christ’s flock, acting according to the example of the Good Shepherd. In that way, the conclave and every blog post, article, speculation and discussion about it must be rooted in Christ. Without Him, there are no sheep and there is no need for a shepherd.

Photo credit: Alejandro Bermudez/CNA

Published by

incaelo

I'm a 37-year-old lay Catholic from the diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden. I write about the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. I not only enjoy bringing selected developments to the attention of readers, but I also think that it is sometimes important to allow a wider audience to read about the state of the Church in the Netherlands. That's why a fair number of posts about that topic will be translations of Dutch articles, episcopal writings and whatever else.

3 thoughts on ““More important than the Pope” – core business”

  1. A bit more traditionally: the core business of the Church is the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Everything should be focused on that.

  2. I subscribed to the new posts via email just a few days ago. I am very grateful for this service. It is very enlightening and I enjoy reading your comments regarding Cardinal Dolan. It is so very true that all of us should focus on doing our regular Christian duties especially during this Holy season of Lent. Thank you for the Blog and your inspiring words. They are truly Catholic and very refreshing.
    Sincerely, Wilhelmina

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