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Pope at Santa Marta: Pastors must not be the center of the Church but must learn to step down

In his morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis used St. Paul's departure from the Church of Ephesus to Jerusalem as an example of a shepherd stepping down. It is inevitable, he says, because eventually the Lord says "go to another place, come to Me.â?  POPE FRANCIS "With this most beautiful example, let us pray for our shepherds, for our parish priests, our bishops, the pope, that their lives will be lives lived without compromise, lives on a journey and lives where they do not believe that they are the center of history and have learned how to step down. Let us pray for our shepherds.â? According to the pope, St. Paul demonstrated three "apostolic attitudesâ? that all shepherds should follow: do not turn back, serve the people, and stay obedient to the Spirit.  EXCERPTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY IN ENGLISH Source: Vatican Radio  "All shepherds have to step down. There comes a moment where the Lord says â??go to another place, come here, go there, come to me.â?? And itâ??s one of the steps that a shepherd must take; be prepared to step down in the correct way, not still hanging on to his position. The shepherd who doesnâ??t learn how to do this because he still has some links with his sheep that are not good, links that are not purified by the Cross of Jesus.â?  "Whilst guiding the Church he had an uncompromising attitude, at that moment it was the Spirit who asked him to go on his journey, without knowing what would happen to him. And he went because he had nothing of his own, he had not wrongly taken control of his sheep. He had served them. Paul said â??Now God wants me to leave. I leave without knowing what will happen to me. I know only this - the Spirit had told him this - that the Holy Spirit had testified to me that trials and tribulations are awaiting me from city to city.â?? This was what he (St Paul) knew. That I am not retiring. I am going away to serve other churches. The heart is always open to the voice of God, I am leaving this place, I will see what the Lord is asking of me. This is a shepherd without compromises who is now a shepherd on a journey.â? "The third attitude is I do not consider my own life to be precious in any way. I am not the center of history. Whether itâ??s large history or small history, I am not the center, I am a servant.â?  "With this most beautiful example, let us pray for our shepherds, for our parish priests, our bishops, the Pope, that their lives will be lives lived without compromise, lives on a journey and lives where they do not believe that they are the center of history and have learned how to step down. Let us pray for our shepherds.â? JC -CTV -FL -PR Up: MB