Since Vatican II, the Church has taken a great concern to “encompass with love all those who are afflicted with human weakness” (LG 8). Through this concern, the Church confirms that Christians will never be abandoned or forgotten. They will always be embraced by their mother, the Catholic Church, regardless of their circumstances.
To actualize her concern for all people, the Church plans to accompany the faithful in their earthly pilgrimage. Specifically, for the Church, to accompany is to be present through the Church’s ministry in such a way that allows people to experience God’s care and concern. Such accompaniment must begin with the Church leaders, who are the representatives of the Church. With leaders who exercise a leadership of accompaniment, the Church can carry forward the work of Christ, “embracing and sharing the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted” (GS 1-3). In this sense, it is understandable when in his Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis takes chapter 8 to call the Church’s ministers to show their concerns for the divorced and remarried by accompanying, discerning, and integrating weakness (AL 291-312). Thus, leadership by accompaniment is offered as essential to fulfilling the vision of Church contained in Vatican II and promoted by Pope Francis, not only for Vietnam but also for the entire Church.
Briefly, the study will answer the following: (1) What is the theology of leadership? (2) What can the theology of leadership draw from secular reflections on leadership? (3) How can we apply leadership by accompaniment to the Vietnamese context in the ministry to the divorced and remarried?