Friday, September 18, 2015


Since the release of the Pope's new motu proprio many have struggled with the translation of the title

Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus

The last three words are easy "Judge Lord Jesus." It's the adjective that is problematic, mitis. Some are going with "clement" a word rarely ever used and therefore innocuous. But if you go looking for mitis in the Vulgate, the official Latin version of the Bible, you find it in one very well known passage from Matthew's gospel, Mt. 11:29

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, quia mitis sum...

Spending on the English tranlastion you are using mitis is either translated gentle or meek.

In today's reading from the 6th chapter of the First Letter to Timothy, Paul refers to him as "man of God."

Paul also explains what it means to be a man of God. Instead of seeking after worldly riches one is to seek six things:

  • Equity/ Justice
  • Godliness/piety
  • Faith
  • Love (agape)
  • Patient endurance
  • Meekness (a form of the same word Jesus uses)

These are the things that make the Man of God.

Are these really the things for which we are ambitious? Are these the qualities we look for in others?

Pope Francis is sending a clear signal regarding the attitude with which those of us who serve as Judges in tribunals are suppose to approach our ministry. St. Paul however is addressing every woman and man who wishes to be a true follower of Christ.