The two concepts of “power” and “authority” are often presented as being in contrast with the notion of “service”. In the Christian tradition however those who exercise power or authority in the Christian community are understood to be servants of the community rather than masters or overlords. This understanding of the relationship between power and service comes from the teaching and the example of Jesus “who came not to be served but to serve”. In the post-Conciliar Church this fundamental Christian approach is seen to be grounded in a number of threads of theology which coalesce in the concepts of the Church as the Pilgrim People of God, the universal call to holiness and the relationship between the universal priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood of ordained priests and bishops.
In this workshop the nature of power, authority and service in the Christian community will be considered by looking at the fundamental identity of the Church as expressed in the docum