Integral ecology

The Church seeks committed Catholic leaders

On August 26, 2023, Pope Francis met with the participants of the fourteenth annual meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network. During the audience, the Pope emphasized the need in the Church to form Catholic leaders who contribute "to the building up of the Kingdom of God".

Paloma López Campos-September 2, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes
Catholic legislators

Pope Francis greets members of the International Catholic Legislators Network at the end of August 2023 (CNS photo / Vatican Media)

Pope Francis met in late August 2023 with the participants of the fourteenth annual meeting of the "International Catholic Conference of the World's Indigenous Peoples".International Catholic Legislators Network"(International Network of Catholic Legislators). The central theme of the conversation was leadership and the Church's need for Christians committed to the common good. During his address, the Pope spoke about the "dominant technocratic paradigm" and the questions raised by "the place of the human being" in the world. In the Church, Francis said, there must be Catholic leaders whose formation to address these questions contributes "to the building of the Kingdom of God."

The Holy Father expressed his concern for the "subtle seduction of the human spirit" propagated by the current paradigm. Technocracy leads us to abuse our freedom, encourages us to "exercise control over material or economic 'objects,' the natural resources of our common home, or even over each other, instead of guarding them responsibly."

Francis mentioned that this reification occurs in "everyday choices that may seem neutral," but which in reality form the basis of the world and the society we want to build.

The dangers of the media

The Pope cited some harmful tendencies of technocracy that are propagated through the media. He echoed the spread of fake news, the promotion of hatred, partisan propaganda and the reduction of human relationships to algorithms.

In the face of these dangers, the solution suggested by the Pontiff is a "culture of authentic encounter". This implies knowing how to listen to and respect the other, even if there are disagreements. But it is also possible to go further. Francis pointed out that the ultimate goal is to "cooperate to achieve a common goal."

The Church, a great network of leaders

The Pope linked the Church's identity to solutions to technocracy, as the People of God are "called to live both in communion and in mission." Therefore, Francis encouraged the "International Catholic Legislators Network" and other similar entities to "form a new generation of well-educated and faithful Catholic leaders committed to promoting the Church's social and ethical teachings in the public sphere." In this way, the talents and skills of Christians will contribute "to the building up of the Kingdom of God."

Christ, the leader par excellence

There are other organizations dedicated to promoting leadership based on Christian values. The Catholic Leadership Institute, based in the United States, considers Catholics in leadership positions to be "influential voices in society".

One of their objectives is that "Jesus' example of loving and servant leadership be modeled in every family, workplace, parish and community". To achieve their goals, they focus on three fundamental pillars: love for Jesus Christ and the Church, the pursuit of the highest level of excellence, and attention to the individual.

Leaven to elevate society

Pope Francis has spoken on other occasions about the need for Catholic leaders in the Church. The Pontiff links leadership with service to Christ and to others. Thus, in 2021, speaking to members of the Catholic Legislators Network, he asked that God grant them "to be the leaven of a regeneration of mind, heart and spirit, witnesses of political love for the most vulnerable, so that in serving them you may serve Him in all that you do."

Some characteristics of Catholic leadership can therefore be established:

  • Based on Christian values;
  • In the service of God, the Church and others;
  • Call for a meeting;
  • Peace promoter;
  • In search of the common good.
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