“Clericalism is a perversion of the Church”, insists Pope Francis



This has been a constant idea since the beginning of his pontificate. Once again, during a television interview broadcast in Italy, Pope Francis on Sunday February 6 castigated the “spiritual worldliness”.

“The greatest evil of the Church is spiritual worldliness, he judged. A Worldly Church. » An attitude which symbolizes for Francis a kind of narcissism, by which the Christian is more turned towards himself than towards others. This worldliness is a danger for the Church “greater still than the libertine popes”, continued François, quoting, as he often does, Cardinal Henri de Lubac who, in his Meditation on the Church (1953), had developed what he already believed to be the “greatest peril” for the Church.

→ REREAD. Spiritual worldliness, a Christian narcissism

“This spiritual worldliness within the Church makes a gross thing grow: clericalism”, continued François. “Clericalism is a perversion of the Church. It is clericalism that creates rigidity. And beneath every kind of stiffness, there’s rot. Always. »

Pelagianism and Gnosticism

For the pope, it is also clericalism that provokes “rigid, ideologically rigid positions”. “These ideologies take the place of the Gospel”, he further developed, bringing these ideologies closer to two heresies: Pelagianism and Gnosticism. The first develops a vision according to which man can save himself by his own strength, while the second bases salvation on a superior knowledge of divine things, communicated only to initiates.

During this nearly hour-long interview, recorded in the afternoon and broadcast in the evening on “Che tempo che fa”, a very popular Sunday program in Italy, the pope was also questioned at length about the fate migrants, whom he once again deplored that they were the object of generalized indifference.

“We must think intelligently about migration policy”

Two months after his visit to the migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, François once again felt that the migrants were doing, as ” poor people “ and “children who suffer from hunger”, part of a “category” ignored by everyone.

→ REREAD. The cry of Pope Francis in Lesbos: “Let’s stop this shipwreck of civilization!” »

“We must think intelligently about migration policy”, he insisted, urging European Union countries to agree on the number of migrants they could accommodate. But he called “criminal” the current practice of returning migrant boats to Libyan shores, where migrants “suffering at the hands of traffickers” and are parked in “fields”.

Besides these serious matters, the pope answered some more personal questions, such as the music he listened to (“I listen to classics, and also tango, which I love so much”), or on his feeling of loneliness. He underlined that it was in particular the need to be surrounded which had pushed him to live at the Sainte-Marthe residence, after his election in 2013, and not at the Papal Palace like his predecessors. “The other popes were saints, I’m not that much, I need human relationships, he pointed out. I need friends. There are few of them, but they are true friends. »

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