Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines


On this feast of the Chair of Peter, we reflect on authority in the Church. There is much talk these days about crisis of authority within the Church, due to the many scandals. The Church can neither be an autocracy nor a democracy; it can only be a true “pneumacracy.” When Peter proclaimed Jesus as the “Messiah, the Son of the living God,” he did not do so on his own authority or knowledge, but on a wisdom that was given from above, as Jesus clearly told him. We also know what happened to Peter immediately: Using his “authority” he taught Jesus about self-protection, for which Jesus called him Satan, for that authority did not come from listening to the Spirit. The Church is a community of learners, docile to the Spirit. She must teach as learners, listening to the Spirit’s whispers coming from even the strangest places, for the Spirit blows where it wills (cf. Jn 3:8).


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