Sunday, June 5, 2011

Prince of the Church versus Prince of Peace

I have watched and read as several new bishops were consecrated.  The writings they use and the verbiage in their applications seems to be mimeographed (copied for you all too young to remember mimeograph machines) and circulated among those who lust for the office.  Frequently heard and copied are "I am not worthy but I am willing to heed the call.  The spirit moves within me to make this journey, and a host of other trite and trivial phrases that merely smacks of a fake sense of humility and godliness in order to gain power.

I got to thinking and this brief blog is the result.  For some reason, mostly medieval, many of these would be power grabbers are enamoured with the concept of the "Prince of the Church".  This medieval term that allows them to believe that somehow they have this great political power that allows them to roam around their "fiefdoms" unfettered and unmuzzled and with some false sense of royal blessing.  These folks do not seem to care as much for the idea of the shepherd as they do for the idea of the politician.  They want the power and seem to ignore the real work they are supposed to do, "feed my sheep." 

Let's look for just a moment at the Prince of Peace, yep that would be Jesus.  He simply went about his business of feeding the hungry, healing the sick, clothing the naked and occasionally ridding the world of a demon.  The real "political" reference that sticks out in my mind is when Pilate asks him if he is king and Jesus replies that his kingdom is not of this world.

So, why the disconnect between the Prince of Peace and the Prince(s) of the Church?  Can we get back to the idea the bishops are shepherds and not princes?  The shepherds crook is a good reminder but it seems to not have any impact on bishops anymore.  They lust after the power that comes from the office and the ability to fly around the country, the world and play at being royalty.   Isn't it time for a change?