NOT AN OWNER OF THE CHURCH BUT A SERVANT
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Benedict XVI abdicated. He justified his decision with the fact that the Church needs a pastor who is younger, strong, who will undertake important matters at present, with Christ’s grace. We understand the Holy Father and we accompany Him with a prayer, however, we are still analyzing what happened with disbelief. In fact an unusual thing happened. In the last several hundred years in the history of the Church there has not been any resignation from the ministry of Christ’s vicar.
The decision of Benedict XVI was coming from the depth of the spirit of the unusual Pope. First of all, Benedict XVI emphasized that the pope is not the owner of the Church but the one who serves to it under the primate authority given to Peter by Jesus and given to Peter’s successors. Yes. The Holy Father is not and has never been the owner of the Church but he has always been its servant.
In the nearly 8-year-old ministry of Benedict XVI we did not notice any split which would prove a gap between the authority held by him and needs of the universal Church. He was also continuing all tasks begun by John Paul II, among the others, the World Youth’s Days in various countries on various continents – a proposition of the universal testimony towards Jesus Christ. Benedict XVI dealt with the philosophy of temptations in a very professional and clear way, which is today brought to the Church by the new revolutionary reality, whose aim is to destroy the Christian option of life. The gender revolution which is encroaching upon the arena of the world, is supported by enormous global forces, among the others, by the world freemasonry, wants to destroy the previous social-moral order. It is involving the contemporary media in order to serve it, and it is distinguished by a big power of influence, which results changes in a look at the human philosophy by many people, at the human anthropology. This is an unusual revolution which has been a challenge for the Church in the recent times, especially in the action of the European Union and the UNO. It had already its beginning during the pontificate of John Paul II, and during the ministry of Benedict XVI it took on a strong and definite character. Benedict XVI, certainly, was in the first line of the defense of Christian civilization, civilization of life and love, from the civilization of death. However, load-bearing strengths and funds are connected with the last civilization. I will mention, for example, creating conditions favourable to euthanasia, shown as the so-called humanitarian help in dying with dignity. In fact it is all about stopping paying pension benefits to elderly people in the century of prolonged human life. It is not considered that those elderly people worked for their pension benefits throughout their whole life…According to its basic essential vocation, the Church will always stand up for life. It was clearly said by blessed John Paul II and he always defended the civilization of life. Benedict XVI also referred to it. So we must note the heroic act of the Holy Father who, in this unusual situation, draws the attention of the Church to the fact that strengths are needed, which he lacks now and he is not the owner of the Church but he is its most humble servant. It is a very important statement which people should accept and for whom the authority often seems the most important and they would like it to last forever. Benedict XVI emphasizes that the authority belongs to God and the pope is only a servant of Christ. Analogically – a bishop is a servant, not the owner of the local Church; a parish priest is a servant, not the owner of his parish. We all are servants. It is the same with political parties and the government – they are not owners of the country either.; the prime minister of the Polish government is not the owner of Poland, nor the president, but they are supposed to serve as well. The owner of this country is the nation, God’s people which lives in this country and has the authority of having a vote. So, it is not fair when a political party wins an election, does not respect the results which other parties gained. The biggest influence on the authority is owned by the Civil Platform today. But there are people beside it in the society, who represent the Law and Justice Party which gained only a few electors’ votes less. Undoubtedly, the most important vote belongs to the elected option, but we do not speak about dictatorship here, but about democracy; it is not about reversing an effect of parliamentary elections, but only about people who did not win, they are a serious part of electorate who have their rights. It is a real democracy which considers those who are a big social group.
So, let’s think about our participation. About participation in various kinds of authority, which considers another person beside us, who may have different opinions, but who also has a right to them. Good authority is a good ministry which should aim at giving a possibility to live in justice and truth. Because it is what matters. This is what Benedict XVI wanted to tell us, who abdicated from the papal mandate, in the feeling of responsibility for fulfilling mission given to him.