Words from on high

by Jini Stolk,

Pope Francis – the very definition of an impeccable source – has been laying down some home truths about weaknesses and shortcomings within the Vatican bureaucracy, which can affect “any administrative organization (or) community …and can strike at both the individual and the corporate level.”

Here are some leadership failures to avoid (or else…?):

Losing our sense of mission (described by the Pope as “having “spiritual Alzheimer’s” or “existential schizophrenia,”) i.e. depending on the here and now, on our own passions and whims at the expense of the higher vision, or limiting ourselves to bureaucratic work and losing contact with reality and concrete people.

Committing the “terrorism of gossip,” a sickness of cowardly people who, not having the courage to speak directly, talk behind people’s backs. Ouch.

Being indifferent to others, “When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.”

Having a “funereal face,” when, in truth, “theatrical severity” and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity.

Forming “closed circles” that seek to be stronger than the whole, thus threatening the harmony of and harming the community.

Also feeling immortal, immune or indispensable; and working too hard: “Rest for those who have done their work is necessary, good and should be taken seriously.”

I’m off to Mexico for a week; hoping for your blessing.

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