Cardinal Dew: ‘Pray for him, pray for Pope Francis’

17 July 2019
Bishop Vincent Long, Padmi Pathinather and Cardinal John Dew. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


“Pray for him, pray for Pope Francis” Cardinal John Dew implored the 150 ardent parishioners who had gathered for his address on Pope Francis.

The address, Servant Leadership in the spirit of Pope Francis, was delivered by the Archbishop of Wellington and the Metropolitan of New Zealand at the Ailsa Mackinnon Community Centre at Our Lady of Mercy College, Parramatta on Tuesday 16 July.

VIEW: Images from the Cardinal Dew event below or click here

Padmi Pathinather, Chair of the Diocesan Pastoral Council of Parramatta was the master of ceremonies for the evening. Padmi led the first prayer for the evening and then formally introduced Cardinal Dew.

Touching on clericalism, which he said is “a false sense of entitlement” Cardinal Dew told the audience the Catholic Church needs to be “capable of warming people’s hearts” and being a “church of mercy” that is “capable of showing mercy”.

Describing clericalism as a “sense of entitlement” Cardinal Dew said that “bishops and priests are not set apart from laity” and that we all need to “focus on human frailty that we see around us.”

Cardinal Dew remarked that being on “the margins you see more clearly” than in the centre and that “our task as leaders is to develop communities of care.”

He emphasised that this is something Pope Francis has done repeatedly during his pontificate. “Throughout his ministry Pope Francis has lived servant leadership…he challenges us to follow Christ’s words and actions.”

Using the example of Pope Francis kissing the “leader’s feet” of South Sudan as an example of servant leadership, Cardinal Dew said that “the only authority is the authority of service” and “the only power is the power of the Cross”.

In concluding his remarks, Cardinal Dew asked all those gathered to “pray for him, pray for Pope Francis”.

Following the cardinal’s address, Bishop Vincent Long, Bishop of Parramatta, gave his reflections on the cardinal’s address and on Pope Francis.

Bishop Vincent drew parallels between Cardinal Dew’s lecture and Pope Francis’ pastoral approach, telling the audience we need to be the “church of humility, the church of inclusivity and being a humble, healing church.”

VIEW: Images from the Cardinal Dew event below or click here

Bishop Vincent spoke of the “massive paradigm shift that has taken place” with the election of the “pope [Pope Francis] from the periphery.”

“The pope is countercultural” Bishop Vincent said about Pope Francis. Pope Francis is “not afraid of his own vulnerabilities, such as kissing the feet of the prison inmates on Holy Thursday…kissing the feet of the South Sudanese leaders.”

Speaking of clericalism and the new for a new way of being church, Bishop Vincent said we need to be a “church of the baptised, not just of the ordained” and that the church needs to be “a model society for the world.”

Following questions from the audience, Cardinal Dew concluded the evenings proceedings with a prayer.

Earlier in the day, Cardinal Dew made a brief visit to the Diocese of Parramatta Chancery Office where he met Chancery personnel over a friendly morning tea.

Cardinal Dew delivers the Helder Camara lecture at Newman College in Melbourne tonight on the same topic.

Both events have been facilitated by Br Mark O’Connor, Vicar for Communications, Diocese of Parramatta.


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