Spiritual Worldliness: Pope Francis’ Critique of the Church

A Partial List of Examples of Spiritual Narcissism

This critique of a certain malaise in the Church can refer only to one thing: When we start defining the Church according to how we ourselves are, we are committing this sin of narcissism; we are being self-referential. And in this sense, we are making the Church self-referential in all of her operations, which must be carried out through her members. Let us consider some practical applications of the Pope’s thesis.

  • When theologians and academicians redefine faith and morals according to their own desires (chiefly, in our day, through the cancer of Modernism), they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When laymen use the Church for their spiritual comfort while rejecting whatever Catholic teachings they do not like, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When people at any level in the Church decide they are not called to express the way, the truth and the life of Christ to others because it is outside their personal comfort zone, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When affluent Catholics constantly find excuses, including legal and political excuses, for not stretching themselves to serve the poor, including immigrants, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When those with strong feelings about certain traditions and the liturgy claim that they alone are the bearers of the true light of Christ, dividing themselves from others and from obedience to ecclesiastical authority, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When cardinals and bishops refuse to speak truth to power, preferring to enjoy life with “people who matter”, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When Catholics invest their emotions and their sense of mission in unapproved apparitions or other similar phenomena, as if these hold the key to everything, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When priests alter the liturgy to suit their tastes or fail to teach the fullness of Catholic doctrine, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • When religious communities depart from their founding charisms and pursue essentially secular goals with a spiritual veneer, they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.
  • Whenever anyone defines right and wrong in terms of chronology (“Come on, it’s 2013! Don’t be so medieval!”), he or she is being narcissistic and self-referential, and making the Church sick.
  • And when Catholics fail to seek constant enlightenment from both the Church and the Holy Spirit in prayer, preferring to go on spiritually without making any real effort to lay bare their own spiritual weaknesses—preferring the comfort of an apparently serene but half-hearted and surely one-sided Christianity—then they are being narcissistic and self-referential, and they are making the Church sick.

One thought on “Spiritual Worldliness: Pope Francis’ Critique of the Church

  1. Best best I’ve read on your site.
    May I add; when you make the ‘I haven’t killed anyone, why should I go to confession? excuse for avoiding the sacrament of reconciliationthen – you are being narcissistic and self-referential, and you are making the Church sick.

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