Charity registration No. SC002876   Sunday March 31st. 2013 Page 1 Page 3 Page 2 Page 4 Main Menu The following interesting article by Fr  Christopher Jamison, OSB, is from this week's Catholic Herald. In Pope Francis, we are truly blessed in having a man of God who has been able to articulate such a vision with remarkable speed and clarity, drawing on his own life as archbishop of a city dominated by poverty and on his own formation within the Society of Jesus, with its long standing commitment to justice. Not only does Pope Francis have a vision but he has a memorable way of expressing it: "a poor Church for the poor". "We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, built not the Church, the Bride of the Lord." So with this vision that is at once new and old, Pope Francis will now bring his own style of leadership to the Petrine ministry. Much has already been made of the contrast with Pope Benedict's style; this is helpful in so far as highlights new energy but misguided if it becomes a criticism of his predecessor. Christ –Prophet, priest and King So how will Christ be at the centre for Pope Francis? The classic theological description of Christ is Prophet, Priest and King. While all these three aspects of Christ's life will be present in a papacy, one usually emerges as dominant. Pope John Paul 11 In Blessed John Paul I1s ministry, the prophetic element was to the fore. The Christ whom he preached literally made nations tremble and empires crumble. Similarly, in his final illness he offered us Christ crucified as a prophetic challenge and as an affirmation of the culture of life. Pope Benedict XV1 Turning to Pope Benedict, we see a papacy characterised strongly by Christ the High Priest. In his emphasis on greater dignity in the liturgy, combined with his outstanding sermons and speeches on a wide variety of themes, Pope Benedict presented in his ministry, Christ as priest and, derived from that, Christ as teacher. Pope Francis So is it too neat to think that the new Pope's emphasis will be Christ the King? At first sight, this seems unlikely for a Pope who wants to highlight poverty and simplicity. But think: again: an ideal king is a leader who cares for all his subjects, showing special concern for their material needs and protecting the weak from the tyranny of the strong. Christ as King, not of pomp, but of justice, does seem to be the aspect of Christ that Pope Francis is already emphasising. Yet the term "King" is problematic today and "President" is no better, so is there an image of modem political leadership that can express this kingly dimension of Christ and the Petrine ministry? St Augustine compared the Church to a city and so it may just work to see the Pope as mayor of that city. The priorities of a mayor (the new Pope) are the well-being of citizens, especially the poorest, and the quality of the environment. To translate these concerns into action, he needs a well run city hall (the curia) and effective borough councils (local conferences of bishops). He will also seek the co-operation of those from other cities (other religious communities) and of foreigners (those of no faith). Pope Francis has already reached out to all these groups by name in the first 10 days of his pontificate. He wants to work with the cardinals who elected him, to build a relationship with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and to work with the media to whom he gave his first papal audience. Accompanying all this is his irrepressible urge to reach out to ordinary people, the citizens for  whom he is working. The distinguishing character of a Petrine "mayor" is that he believes the earthly city (even the Eternal City of Rome) must be subject to the heavenly city. I believe that we can already see his way of achieving this taking shape in the mind of Pope Francis. So a joyful prospect is opening up for the Church, a trio of great popes, each of whom has inhabited the Petrine ministry in their own way, each emphasising a different aspect of Christ our Prophet, our Priest and our King.             Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI,Pope John Paul II, each with his own unique and inspired style Pope Francis thanked Pope Emeritus Benedict for the wonderful example he bequeathed to him of  holiness, dedication as the shepherd of the flock, his visit to nations to seek peace and especially meeting the thousands of youths at World Youth Days Brothers in Christ Pope Benedict has become noticeably more frail and has difficulty now in walking, and requires the use of a  stick. We now see how inspired his decision was to retire when he felt incapable of fulfilling  his Petrine office because of failing health.