Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Future Pope Francis emphasized self-accusation of faults by religious

Catholic World News - March 26, 2013

Editrice Missionaria Italiana has published the Italian edition of two works by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. Umiltà, la strada verso Dio [Humility, the Way to God] and Guarire dalla corruzione [Recovering from Corruption] are both collections of addresses delivered in 2005 and based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises.

The future Pope Francis emphasized the importance of maintaining the traditional practice of public self-accusation of faults in religious communities.

“Factions fighting to impose the hegemony of their own viewpoint and preferences are fairly common in religious communities, both local and provincial,” the prelate and onetime Jesuit provincial wrote. “This occurs when charitable openness to neighbor is replaced by each individual’s own ideas. It is no longer the religious family as a whole which the religious defends, but only the part of it that concerns him. People no longer adhere to the unity that contributes to configuring the Body of Christ, but rather to the divisive, distorting, and debilitating conflict.”

“For formation teachers and superiors it is not always easy to inculcate a sense of belonging to the family spirit, especially when it is necessary to shape inner attitudes, even small ones, but which have repercussions at this level of the institutional body,” he added. “One of the effective attitudes that must acquire substance in the hearts of young religious is that of ‘self-accusation,’ for it is in the absence of this practice that the spirit of separation and division is rooted.”

He continued:

It is therefore essential first of all to ban every reference, even an unconscious one, and every kind of pharisaic attitude that presents self-accusation as something puerile or characteristic of the cowardly. Self-accusation, rather, presupposes a rare courage in order to open the door to unknown realities and let others see beyond my appearance. It means removing all our make-up so that the truth may shine through.

The accusation of ourselves (which is only a means) is the basis in which the fundamental option puts down roots: for anti-individualism and for a family and Church spirit which brings us to relate as good children and good siblings, so as to succeed later in being good parents. Accusing ourselves implies a fundamentally communitarian attitude.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,070 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,930.48
52% 48%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20