What's it like to come to work every day when your boss is the Pope? The answer probably depends on whether you are an old-timer or a relative newcomer, reports the Religion News Service in NCR Online.
- by David Gibson.
Much also depends on whether you are one of the approximately 3,500 (mostly Italian) laypeople in the Vatican's workforce, or one of the 1,100 or so cardinals, bishops, priests, or religious brothers and sisters who tend to occupy decision-making positions and are deeply invested in the policies that Francis adopts.
That second group, often defined by their ideologies and rivalries, tends to draw the most attention, given the high stakes and fierce passions involved.
'I have even heard people say 'We are praying for (Francis) to die as soon as possible,' Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, head of Francis' hand-picked advisory group of eight cardinals, told a German Catholic news agency recently. 'That is wicked - but such people think they are Christians.'
No wonder the Pope has spent so much of his first year in office warning cardinals and bureaucrats against indulging in the kind of court intrigues, gossip and favouritism that helped push his predecessor, Benedict XVI, to resign.
In his Ash Wednesday homily, in fact, Francis at one point looked up from his text on penance and stared at the Vatican churchmen arrayed around him. 'When I watch, in this little everyday environment, various power struggles for position, I think to myself: These people are trying to play God, the Creator,' the Pope said. 'They still haven't realised that they are not God.'
In any institution facing the kind of structural and cultural overhaul that Francis promises, there's going to some agita. And such conflicts can be even sharper in organizations dedicated to a mission, be it political or religious. Still, there are some dynamics that are peculiar to the Holy See.
FULL STORY What it's like to have Pope Francis as your boss (NCR Online)