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Pope to Rota: authentic spirit of service

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered his first allocution to the Roman Rota on Friday, at the start of the court’s judicial year. The Roman Rota is the Church’s highest appellate tribunal and the highest ordinary judicial tribunal. It deals principally though not exclusively with questions arising from marriage nullity cases that come before it.

In his remarks to the court on Friday, Pope Francis traced a brief profile of the ideal judge. Pope Francis explained that, on a human level, “A judge requires a human maturity,” expressed most clearly through, “detachment from personal views,” that allows the judge, “to immerse himself in the mindset and the legitimate aspirations of the community in which the service takes place.”

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Regarding the way in which a judge ought to exercise his authority, Pope Francis spoke of the need for “objectivity” and “fairness [It. equità]” that allow him, “to adjudicate with imperturbable and impartial equidistance,” from the parties and from his own personal tastes, opinions and preferences.

Pastorally, Pope Francis said the judge must have an authentic spirit of service. “[A judge] is the servant of justice,” he said, “called to treat and adjudicate the condition of the faithful who turn to him in trust.”