Donald Harman Akenson, Surpassing Wonder, p. 8
When you read the later letters of Paul when he was a prisoner in Rome, you can get from the words within the words, that Paul is beginning to realize that there exists other powers within the power of civil society. Many modern people today would be utterly shocked to discover that there existed in Roman times certain "organizations" that today would be called organized crime. This goes pretty far in explaining some of the many emperors weird actions, as recorded by Edward Gibbon and a host of others.
Stories of the mafia in the Western World are a sure key to success. Witness the enduring popularity of the movie(s) Godfather, and the television series Sopranos. Most of the frameworks for such organizations, we are told originate in Sicily. And Sicily is an ancient place, as you will notice if you have ever been any where near the place, on the ground, so to speak. So many visitors have been through in the course of history, that the locals soon realized that they had to take care of themselves, and once that starts, it is all but impossible to eradicate.
So one should not be too surprised that the Roman Catholic Church has an organizational chart that is very similar to an American crime family. The only difference is that in Rome the scale of the whole thing is just about beyond comprehension. At the top you have the boss of bosses, the Pope, the capo di tutti capi, plain and simple. Under the Pope is the cardinals, or rather the Godfathers of all the other families. Under them are the Bishops, or the Caporegimes. And of course under them are the soldiers, the made men, the parish priests. You as a member of the church are an associate.
Thinking back to childhood, being in a parish is a lot like being in a crew, you got called in by the boss at least once a week, and you brought the envelope, to make sure there was something to kick upstairs, so to speak. One wonders how long it is going to take Pope Francis to figure out that he is the new boss of bosses?