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Christian leaders are to be servants, teaches Pope.

Pope Francis on Sunday reminded the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the traditional papal Sunday Angelus that Christian leaders are first called as servants, not as those to be served, and he connected Sunday’s Gospel to the Saturday elevation of 19 new cardinals as an example. Francis told the crowd that because of their baptism, every Christian is already called to serve both Christ and others. “Through baptism, we all have the same dignity: all of us, in Jesus Christ, we are sons of God,” the Pope said. “Those who have received a ministry of leadership, preaching, administering the sacraments, should not be considered owners of special powers, but offer service to the community, helping them to walk the path of holiness with joy.”

Pope Francis has reminded hearers that the leaders of Christ's people must first be servants.
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The Holy Father reflected for a moment on the second reading Sunday, in which St. Paul rebukes the Corinthians for having a spirit of contention over which apostle, disciple, or teacher to follow. “St. Paul explains that this way of thinking is wrong, because the community does not belong to the apostles, but it is they who belong to the community, but the community, as a whole, belongs to Christ!” declared the Pope. The Holy Father also invited those present to pray for one another and for their pastors, and to foster a spirit of unity. “I also invite you to support these pastors and to assist them with prayer, so that they always guide people with the zeal that has been entrusted to them, showing all the tenderness and love of the Lord,” he said.

“All together, bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful must offer the testimony of a Church faithful to Christ, animated by the desire to serve our brothers and ready to go with prophetic courage to meet the expectations and spiritual needs of the men and women of our time.”