Justin Bieber, Chris Huhne, Fred Goodwin, politicians, large corporations and yes even catholic priests have one thing in common. The pedestal we allowed them to climb upon. They declared the values they stood for and we were inspired and supported them. The more support they got the higher the pedestal became until we, and I think they, believed in their infallibility.
We pushed their fallibility into a corner and forgot it was there. They were invincible - they believed it - we believed it. With each passing day the corner became a place to avoid, a blind spot. A blind spot that became their Achilles heel.
If you achieve a position based on your infallibility how easy is it to ever admit your own wrong doing? How easy is it to say "I'm sorry I didn't live by my highest values today" or "I'm sorry I made a mistake". It's impossible. Your audience put you up on the pedestal and falling off it is the same as failing, and no one wants to fail. So the lie continues and the pedestal gets bigger along with the lies. Until the mistake they make is too big to hide, too big to forgive, careers are lost, hopes are dashed and it all comes crashing down.
St Francis lived a simple life and made a difference in many people's lives and did so by standing side by side with those he inspired and having the humility to set aside the pedestal. So too many of those in history who have truly made a difference in the world in which they lived.
Pope Francis I may follow in St Francis's footsteps if early accounts are to be believed. He was quoted as saying "Now we take up this journey... a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us." Isn't that a journey that we're all on?
I wonder how politics, the economies around the world, the environment, business, spirituality, media, relationships and life would be different if we all set aside the pedestal, walked side by side and allowed fraternity, love and trust to guide us?