I have looked at the photo’s of ex-Pope Benedict leaving the Vatican to fly to Castel Gandalfo by helicopter.
It’s but a 15 mile journey by road (indeed in 1974 I took a ‘bus from Rome to Castel Gandolfo for a public audience with Pope Paul VI).
Why the helicopter?
At first blush it reminded me of failure. I saw Richard Nixon leaving the White House by helicopter. I was reminded of the fall of the Saigon regime in Vietnam (1975) and the frenetic evacuations by helicopter.
The Pope aside, many of we clerics assert that we have power and authority to rule over congregations.
“’Snot true”: the authority of the ordained is to serve.
When I insisted on “authority” I made a pig’s ear of my ministry.
When I chose (or was forced to choose) the way of service, one or two or more people were drawn closer to the Lord Jesus.
At my best as a Pastor I rode on a donkey. At my worst I wanted a helicopter.
|President Nixon's departure|
|Farewell to Saigon|
|Pope Benedict's final helicopter ride|