Clergy warned against ‘earthly titles’

Clergy warned against ‘earthly titles’

Canadian Fr. James Mallon speaks during the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE) at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, July 19, 2018. ROY LAGARDE

By Joselle dela Cruz

July 20, 2018

Manila, Philippines

A Canadian priest who is leading a global movement to revitalize parishes reminded the Filipino clergy against being too centered on “earthly titles” or “positional leadership”, urging them instead to build the character of trust to gain respect.

While he acknowledged that positional leadership is needed in any organization, Fr. James Mallon warned that problems are likely to erupt in the exercise of leadership by relying solely on positional authority.

“They will respect you, and your position if you win their trust, if you live with character-based leadership,” said Mallon in his talk during the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on Thursday.

“Character leadership is servant leadership and servant leadership is Christian leadership. It goes to the very model of Jesus about influence. It changes people,” he said.

An internationally renowned speaker, Mallon is the Episcopal Vicar for Parish Renewal and Leadership Support for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth of Nova Scotia in Canada.

“Good leaders deflect the praise and accept the blame. a bad leader is someone who seeks the praise and deflects the blame and blame others. Equipping and supporting others, that’s the role of leadership,” said Mallon.

“Leadership ultimately is raising up other leaders. If the leaders is at the bottom, it would be raising up others so that they too become leaders who raise up others,” he said.

The priest also pointed out that active lay participation is important in leadership in the Church.

“Leadership is one of the tasks of priests, we are ordained to be prophet, priest, king. But all the baptized are also called to intentionally exercise our leadership, our influence for the sake of the kingdom of God,” he said.

“There’s no such thing as a well-rounded person but there’s a well-rounded team,” he added.

‘Fruits in parishes’

Mallon also encouraged priests to look at the gifts in the parishes that could “equip the works in the ministry”.

“So many parishes are filled with potential, filled with gifts, among the people of God but the fruit is not picked it’s not harvested for the sake of the kingdom of God,” according to him.

Mallon stressed the importance of passion in leadership.

“Many of us have lost hope because we’ve been hurt in the exercise of our leadership. Some of us have become cynical. Hope is the foundation of passion,” he said.

“One of greatest enemies of passion is contentment. I’m actually okay with how the things are. I’m okay with the status quo, I’m not disturbed,” he also said.