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SPIRITUALITY AND THE CULTURE OF NARCISSISM.

A.W.Richard Sipe

PAT

This is a long but very important article. It’s a vital read for those of us who want to understand the mind blowing rot at the heart of the RCC.

Abstract: Catholic deacons, priests and bishops live in a unique psychological environment commonly referred to as the “clerical world.” A fundamental characteristic of this sub-culture is narcissism which in some clerics becomes pathological. The narcissistic component of the clerical world has a toxic effect on its spirituality.

Spirituality is an awareness of a personal relationship with a transcendent reality.

Every religious tradition allows for persons of spirituality. Spirituality is independent of doctrine and discipline. The biblical psalms are preeminent examples of this traditional expression. A prominent example of this expression is a prayer of St. Augustine recorded in his Confessions:

Late have I loved you

O Beauty ever ancient ever new.

Late have I loved you!

You were within me, but I was outside.

And it was there that I searched for you.

In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things that you created.

You were with me, but I was not with you.

Created things kept me from you;

Yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.

You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.

You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.

You breathed your fragrance on me.

I drew in breath and now I pant for you.

I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.

You touched me, and I burned for your peace. (J. Ryan, 1960, p. 254)

Two main sources support the development of Roman Catholic spirituality, the cult of saints and personal contact with a Catholic clergy person.

Because tradition presents a priest or bishop as a representative of God and Jesus a betrayal by them is profoundly destructive. Knowledgeable people have labeled the effects of sexual betrayal by a priest or bishop more devastating than those of incest. It is rightly called it soul murder. Our religious and clinical experience with victims of clergy abuse validates those observations and repeatedly records that the experience of abuse by clergy demolishes spirituality.

How is it possible that such a destructive dynamic can prevail in an institution of religion whose explicit purpose is to promote spiritual health? Experience with priest perpetrators demonstrates and confirms that they are a product of and participants in a culture that is rightly named narcissistic. An individual clergyman may or may not escape the toxicity of that culture.

The veneer of holiness and altruism that cloaks the institution of the Roman Catholic Church covers a clerical culture infused by excessive narcissism. The institution is not what it appears in its public pronouncements, ritual manifestations, and glorious vesture. I have seen how its self-serving elements have had a pervasive destructive influence in propagating toxic spirituality that enables and fosters sexual assault on vulnerable children and minors and yet protects and projects an image perfection and moral purity.

The literature on narcissism, personal and cultural, is nearly epidemic. That ubiquity neither lessens its importance for understanding human behavior nor its significance in the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by men publicly proclaimed to be celibate therefore sexually safe. Nor can it be discounted as an element in a culture that selects, molds, produces and protects abusers despite its protestations of selfless service to God and humanity.

The thesis is simple and clear: Clerical Culture is the context of the sexual abuse of minors witnessed in the last half-century. This is no secret. The Prime Minister of Ireland addressing his parliament on July 20, 2011 said that a recent report on the system of abuse in the Irish diocese of Cloyne (Kenney 2011); “Excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism—the narcissism that dominate the Vatican to this day.” The cause of abuse by men who sexually violate children and the vulnerable within a church context is that they are products of formation and inculcation into the clerical system. That system of abuse can be traced from top to bottom. If the culture did not operate in ways that tolerated secret sexual activity of superiors (including but not limited to child sexual abuse) and function as a web of mutually supportive secret clerical liaisons, sexual abusers of minors would find no place in the system. As one highly placed American prelate said on his return from a trip to Rome: “The organization to which I belong is rotten to the core and from the top down.”

The clerical system from earliest days in seminary training throughout illustrious church careers conspires to hide sexual tendencies behind a veil of confessional secrecy—often by confessors and rectors (bishops and superiors) who themselves are not celibately observant. Known sexual activity—even behaviors with fellow seminarians and priests—is dismissed as “growing pains” or passing phases or even as salutary educational experience. Words, pronouncements and directives not withstanding this is how the system operates.

The Catholic Church’s institutional veneer of holiness covers a clerical culture marked by excessive narcissism. This narcissism has had a pervasive influence on the toxic clerical spirituality that has enabled the sub-culture of abuse. The path to wholeness and healing for many of the abused requires the discovery of an authentic clerical-free spirituality. The process of discovery involves the painful process of liberation from the controlling bonds of the institution. Here we explore the complex effect of institutionalized toxic narcissism and the steps that can lead to freedom and a healthy spirituality.

Normal Narcissism

Any responsible consideration must account for the normal and necessary condition of narcissism at the infantile level of personality development. It is self evident that most cultures go to great lengths to foster children, keep them safe as they develop a sense of self worth based on the solid experiences I am loved—I am loveable. The self-centered supports necessary to secure a firm personality are transient and give way to maturing socialization where sharing and the sense I can love develops as the child matures. Thomas Traheme rightly observes, “Had we not loved ourselves at all, we could never have been obliged to love anything. So that self-love is the basis of all love.” (T. Traherne, 1672).

This journey to establish a foundation of love, self-confidence and mastery can also make a child vulnerable to unscrupulous and pernicious men (and women) who pose under the guise of helpers—in the case we are considering, Catholic priests. The clerical culture that we have discovered is ominous at best and destructive and perverted at worst and has not been adequately studied and analyzed. The widespread awareness of minor abuse across the Catholic Church gives urgency to its examination. Clergy abuse is a symptom of a cultural in dysfunction, spiritual bankruptcy and is unavoidable because it is criminal behavior.

The harm done to the normal development of youngsters from the experience of sexual or physical assault by the trusted is incalculable. The psychological steps to mature loving relationships are side tracked and in many cases destroyed. The self-absorption of men steeped in clerical culture is one element in their deficient empathy and disregard for the need for children to be protected. Innumerable bishops have given witness to their disregard for the rape and torture of children in favor of the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation. Bishop Loris Waters gave voice to this unfathomable clerical attitude toward the effects of abuse in his statement: “Little boys heal” (L. Watters, personal communication, 1984).

Acquired Situational Narcissism

How is such a perverted attitude that values institutional image over the protection of children get established? Since the Council of Trent each diocese was commissioned to set up seminaries to insure the education and formation of priests. Part of the process of introduction and survival in these ecclesiastical enclaves involves a relinquishing to one degree or another ones self to a circumscribed, all male authority regulated, supposedly sexually abstinent group where conformity of mind and will are demanded and prized. These are “total institutions” which confer an alternative identity and security in exchange for the personal sacrifice. Little by little candidates immerse themselves in an atmosphere and function of a group that has all the right answers and is more powerful and important than any other entity.

As a man moves up in the ecclesiastical system more conformity and obedience are expected and demanded for further advancement. Obedience that binds an individual (even blindly) to authority is the ultimate test of loyalty and proof that the individual can now justly assume institutional identity. There is little psychic distinction between self and institution and thus one’s value is subsumed by identification with the power, prestige, and status of the church. Clerical dress advertises the identity and elaborate public ceremony that dignifies prelates in impressive rich robes adds to the attraction to identify with the whole church institution suffused with its power, arrogance, vanity, and inordinate self-esteem. Certain cult-like qualities imbedded in the Roman Catholic culture remain to be teased out of the system for understanding. There are some strong personalities who can escape indoctrination to one degree or another and function maturely in the system. Not enough, however, to alter the system at this critical level. A large proportion of priests leave the ministry before the twenty-fifth anniversary of their ordination. Thirty percent of two graduating classes, 1966 and 1972, from a prominent American seminary turned out to be sexual abusers of minors. In fact, between six and nine percent of U.S. priests have violated children (Author’s personal research, unpublished). The operation of the system favors the production and preservation of psychosexual immaturity and narcissistic behaviors.

Altruism in the Service of Narcissism

Clinical evaluations and long term experiences in seminaries and religious houses reveal many men who remain psychosexually immature. Often times those who look bestrise to the top of the ranks. Their works can be exemplary and they can have good reputations among clergy and lay people. When they are discovered to have double lives many people who have benefited from their good works are incredulous and rise to the defense of the offender. Elizabeth Bowen correctly observes: “Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life in his own terms”.

The narcissist forces his colleagues and his victims to play a role assigned to him by God. The narcissist determines the agenda. Seducers are kind and disarming. Most priest child violators are not violent, but rather proceed under the cloak of care and kindness. Many can delude themselves that they are loving and helping the minor grow. The narcissism underlying their behavior is not hard to decipher when their whole history is revealed. Many of those who do not abuse minors participate in an atmosphere, climate, and operating culture that favors this kind of dichotomy and double life. Secrecy is the code and loyalty to the institution is the coin of the realm. A member violates either with great personal peril .The narcissist rewards compliance with his script and punishes any deviation from it with severe abuse. The narcissist conditions people around him using intimidation, positive and negative reinforcements and feedback, covert, or controlling abuse.

Institutional Malignant Narcissism

In 1970, Otto Kernberg coined the term “malignant narcissism“; he pointed out that the sociopath was fundamentally narcissistic and without morality. Malignant narcissism includes a sadistic element, creating, in essence, a sadistic psychopath. The revelations about the sexual abuse of minors and how the institution produces and protects clergy abusers from the highest echelons on down betray the actual social construct of the Church. Its stated goals about the welfare of children weaken and wither in preference of avoiding scandal, salvaging the reputation of superiors, maintaining power and control and saving face. Narcissism is contagious. It creates a “magical universe”, similar to a cult; within its ken special rules apply. It does not conform to external reality, but relies on the power of its construct (Cf O. Kernberg, 1975).

Sociopaths—those without empathy and conscience—flourish in the institutional atmosphere of the Roman Catholic clerical system. Obedience, not charity or justice is the guiding principal within the clerical structure. In the center of the vow cardinals take before the pope is the phrase: I vow to keep secret anything confided to me that if revealed would cause harm or scandal to the Church. The blind obedience to authority (the pope) extolled and inculcated in clerics on every level of the institution kills the development of spirituality. It distorts conscience because truth is subservient to the institutional mind that is dedicated primarily to self-preservation at all costs. A lie is not a lie if spoken according to institutional values. As Bishop John Ricard said to one of his priests who related it to me: “I only lie when I have to”. This aspect of the clerical institution becomes patently clear in a review of cardinals’ and bishops’ depositions regarding clergy abusers. The scarlet bond that unites church authorities—and all Catholic clergy by extension—holds the institution in a monarchical system that demands obedience, silence and cover up of imperfections at the expense of real protection and service. Victims of clergy narcissists often come to assimilate the narcissist’s way of thinking and his modus operandi—his methods in self-destructive ways. The narcissist seldom abandons his victims. He resides deep inside the traumatic memories, torturing the victims and well meaning disciples, like an alien snatching bodies.

The continuing exposure of the institutional system that fosters and protects child abuse by its narcissistic nature offers us an opportunity to analyze its structure and indicate a direction for a spirituality of reform.

Any spirituality of reform must free itself from the institutional bonds of fear, shame, and guilt that the narcissistically malignant institution instills with its process of control and the exercise of its power. Only willful blindness and pathological denial can allow one to overlook the reality that the symptom of clerical abuse reveals a Roman Catholic Church as dysfunctional and corrupt sexually and financially as during the time of the Protestant Reformation. Only a spirituality that confronts the institution in a fundamental way will meet the current need of Catholic Christians.

NARCISSISM PERSONIFIED IN “MOTHER BURKE”.

———

MOTHER BURKE AT KNOCK – NOT A FEMALE IN SIGHT!

73 replies on “SPIRITUALITY AND THE CULTURE OF NARCISSISM.”

Re the blog from Tuesday. I’m not a fan of bashing bishops or dioceses at every corner; but as a seminarian, when your annual stipend is the equivalent of 2 weeks’ salary at minimum wage, when you can’t work during the summer because of a placement and it’s written in the rules that you can’t work during the academic year, how exactly is it that your supposed to live (i.e. go for a coffee, meet up with non-seminarian friends during holidays,etc)? I’d be interested to here from priests and current seminarians on this.

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I received no stipend, my Northern Ireland tuition fee grant and full maintenance grant were signed over to Maynooth, I didn’t receive a penny. Then Clogher diocese sent me a bill every year for £1,200 punts as my contribution, which if unpaid meant that my library access was suspended.
I lived hand-to-mouth, with handouts from family and the

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And if this is how you are now treated, at a time when your (holy mother) church is desperately seeking recruits, just imagine how it will be like when ordained into ecclesiastical servitude and dependence. And the longer you ‘hang on’ hoping for improvement the more difficult getting out will become.
Get out now while you can and are able to take a new path. You won’t regret it.
I quit at end of 3rd divinity and never ever regretted it. And I’ve met others left after me who think likewise : and some who left within a few years after ordination who now regret staying on. The saddest have been those who 50+ yrs after ordination regard their time as wasted.
MMM

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I should have made clearer that I left in II Divine. Joe Duffy used to call the personal contribution the pension, the obsolete Old French word for a fee or tax.

St Joseph’s Young Priests society gave me a small cheque twice a year and recipient’s, humiliatingly, lined up outside the Senior Dean’s rooms, to be called in one at a time to dole out the cheques.

Sems were forbidden to take paid work during term time, even in the library or college farm, and we had to fund travel to placements.

If you were a Clogher sem you were expected to work for a month on Lough Derg from 6am to 10pm for 7 days a week for about £50 punts a week.

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4.05 pm Time is never waisted. Turn the negative of the past into the positive of today. Use your gifts knowledge and faith. It’s part of the oil in the machinery hi

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Ha ha ha Jesus Christ! Mother Burke resembles a facial zit that has just been ‘popped’ between a thumb and finger. 😅😅😅😅

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Has the departed Sacerdote of book fame risen from the grave and whispered those words about ++Burke to you, dear Magna? They sounded so much like him although a bit milder. What, not a word about the lovely ladies dressed in blue?

Also, in the second pic, how did those fellows get the right to wear monsignori robes at what appears to be a rather young age, or does their clerical celibacy mask their true ages? Ah, all that virginity!

Whatever, keep eating those Caldey chocolates!

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M.C. at 1:42am!!!!
No Polly, you are a zit that unfortunately has not been popped yet, your blasphemy of The Holy Name was totally unnecessary you wont be laughing when your called to account. Your remark’s about His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke is entirely in character, you’d prefer prelates in anorak’s.
Evviva Maria!

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A very interesting reflection.
Is enclosed monastic life also evidence as the strict rule of enclosure removes one from the public arena of individual admiration?

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2:28pm
Glad to know, bud.
I wonder what Cardinal Francesco ‘cocopuffs’ Coccopalmerio wears out and about!😉
He doesn’t seem to follow the instructions for prelatial dress as prescribed by The Roman Rite.
Google him to find out, Bella. 😊

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Lol you can see narcissism portrayed on this blog by priests who bleat about not being like the others and speaking out and doing good. Sadly some commenters here are psychotic rather than narcissistic.

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‘I vow to keep secret anything confided to me that if revealed would cause harm or scandal to the Church.
The blind obedience to authority ( the pope) extolled and inculcated in clerics on every level of the institution kills the development of spirituality’.
There’s the nub of the problem, in my view. Not only is blind obedience killing spiritual development, it’s killing the Church, discrediting the Gospel, and this toxic culture of juvenile secrecy, silence and denial, out of loyalty to the clerical fraternity, has killed human beings. Many are prematurely in their graves due to abuse and cover up by clerics, of all ranks, top to bottom.
This has NOTHING to do with God, but everything to do with institutionalised toxic narcissism
within the clerical fraternity and their obsession with protecting it’s members and it’s image, status,
perks, and power.
Sounds to me, Dr. Richard Sipe would agree with Magna Carta, of this blog.

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This clericalism refers to vowed religious women as well. They have their share of nasty secrets and victims and do far less than bishops do to respond to their victims or hold their molesters and rapists accountable.

Without major reform we will find most serious Roman Catholics among the “former Romans” who make up the Independent Catholic Churches of Europe, North and South America. But then, maybe that IS the reform itself!

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9.13: Don’t worry about the cost of the costumes! They were once the property of the Queen Mother who died a few years ago. Lizzie felt sorry for him: he was an admirer of the auld dear!!!

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9:34
Lay people must claim their position in the Church.
The clergy will never let go of the reins until there’s absolutely no choice.

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What lay people? Some old ladies whose grandchildren are unbaptised they can’t even pass the faith on in their own families so I wouldn’t expect too much

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Clown in a red suit? The Cardinals of the Church all appear in public wearing red cassocks so you can take your pick of any them but I suppose Cardinal Burke is one of the bad guys so he deserves it

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I’m Too Sexy

(Right said Fred)
Written by Fred Fairbrass. Richard Fairbrass
and Rob Manzoli
(1991)

[Verse1]
I’m too sexy for my love
Too sexy for my love
Love’s going to leave me

I’m too sexy for my shirt
Too sexy for my shirt
So sexy it hurts
And I’m too sexy for Milan
Too sexy for Milan
New York, and Japan
And I’m too sexy for your party
Too sexy for your party
No way I’m disco dancing

[Chorus 1]
I’m a model, you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah, on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah
I do my little turn on the catwalk

[Verse 2]
I’m too sexy for my car
Too sexy for my car
Too sexy by far
And I’m too sexy for my hat
Too sexy for my hat
What ya think about that?

[Chorus 2]
I’m a model, you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah, on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little touche on the catwalk

[Bridge]
Too sexy for my
Too sexy for my
Too sexy for my
Cut!

[Chorus 2]
I’m a model, you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah, on the catwalk, yeah, on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little touche on the catwalk

[Verse 3]
I’m too sexy for my cat
Too sexy for my cat
Poor pussy, poor pussy cat
I’m too sexy for my love
Too sexy for my love
Love’s going to leave me
And I’m too sexy for this song

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This is a good, thought provoking and worthwhile essay for all of us in the Church. Richard Sipe’s analysis is very perceptive and correct. As a priest I have found that it is so easy to let yourself fall into a particular mind set within the Church. There are hierarchies of power and control which are manipulative and dangerous. It has taken me almost 20 years to reconnect with my own sense of inate integrity of conscience, faith, prayer and spirituality. I have witnessed careerism in the most brutal way possible, where loyalties and friendships were destroyed. I have witnessed some clerics become ruthless in their pursuit for positions of responsibility and privilege. The all male hierarchical nature of the Church is unhealthy, skewed in many ways, disconnected from the real lives of people. It requires immense inner strength and conviction to be a true priest in the image of Christ. Sometimes difference and diversity are mocked and frowned upon. Creativity and imagination are alien concepts to a hierarchy which is ruled by Rome. It is very easy in the present style of priesthood to end up being a very selfish, self absorbed and to be disconnected from your own emotional and spiritual maturity. I have been blessed to have met many fine, wonderfully integrated priests, good human beings but I have also met the opposite. A huge institutional system like the Catholic Church, operating at many different levels, often secretly and which isn’t always transparent or accountable is ripe for opportunists of all kinds. The structures and organisation of governance within the Church are conducive to corruption, wrongdoing and abuse. In my everyday life I ask myself, who am I answerable to? To whom am I accountable? Where are the checks and balances to keep me rooted in my humanity and in my ministry? Who really cares when my life begins to fall apart for whatever reason? Such is the culture in Dioceses that to admit to fatigue, depression or emotional or spiritual unwellness is to be exposed to further vulnerability. Often the attitude from our Bishops is one of indifference: once the show is kept on the road, they are happy. They are not attuned to being true shepherds for their priests. Today’s world demands that we priests try to remain focused on Christ alone. If we lose our attachment to him, we lose our way. But we also need to radically involve parishioners more openly in our parishes at levels of leadership and decision making. We need to allow parishioners a forum to dialogue more radically with us in our parishes. Personally, we each have to ensure a deepening of our growth in CHRIST and endeavour to imbibe his spirit more genuinely. I sometimes regret being part of the institutional Church but my hope is always rekindled when I see the living out of the gospel by those with whom I work in the parish. When we keep Christ at the heart of our vision, ministry becomes a joy and very fulfilling.

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I wish you well. I left the practice of faith for about twenty years. I was so angry at the pontificating against abortion by men who were never going to be pregnant in the 90s. My mother died as a result of my birth, having been warned that pregnancy would reactivate TB and kill her. She died and my father never recovered and I have needed a lot of therapy to deal with that reality. A sense of the mercy of God brought me back to practising my faith and finding comfort in it – and the pontificate of Pope Francis, who I believe is trying his best to deal with clericalism and the other problems in the church. We all need friends. I hope you can continue to be supported by good friends both priests and lay people. May God bless and help you.

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11:26 pm
A great comment. Refreshingly honest, insightful and open.
I wish you well in your ministry.
‘Prefer nothing to Christ.’ (St. Benedict.)

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I have taken the children out of the picture. It is not illegal to publish photographs of children in public places.

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Will the darnel ever listen to the truth and be set free? Good Holy clergy need to follow the example of AB Vigano. stand up and be counted. You will be hated but do not be afraid. Jesus has overcome the world. Overcome the culture of Satan who was a liar from the start.

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Are any of those pictured around the Cardinal Irish? Pat, if so, may we please have an update? What diocese(s) are they from?

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Why Cardinal Burke ? He wears exactly what was proscribed for his rank within the Church , of course anyone is free to say that’s no longer worn or no longer relevant but that’s all , why the strong revulsion to traditional costume it’s a real ‘ trigger’ for some ?

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3.56

Seriously? ‘A real trigger for some’? You seem puzzled that it should be.

How these men dress is about more (much more) than sartorial preference: it’s about how they think of theselves in the ecclesial ‘pecking order’.

They are meant to be servants, and servants do not dress as masters.

Pope Francis should reign in these peacocks: they are damaging the Church.

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Don’t know if any of those chaps/ chapesses are Irish but it was an Irish born bishop who facilitated the “ boys’ in blue with a big church in Preston.
It’s all bells n smells n mincing and rinsing.
Also the bishop who gave them the church wasn’t averse to a bit of dressy upper as well.
Wherever did the child in the manger get to?

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Do you really think that people comitt their lives simply to ‘ dress up’? No one is stopping you putting a proposal to your Bishop to start some form of consecrated life without any religious habit and a radical love of poverty both exterior and interior, follow your strong feelings if you hold them with conviction

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5.09 I live near Preston. If your son came in dressed like them, it would give you cause to think. The nuns are just as bad pretending to live in the middle ages. We have Trump and Boris and Rees Mogg (who wants imperial measures even though they went out the year he was born). Then we have Putin and Greenland losing its glaciers…….I really daren’t look at it all. It’s beyond belief!!!!

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Do you have a son? Has anyone in your family a vocation to the priesthood? You live near Preston so what’s been your contribution to the reason why ‘Priests Town’ has changed into a majority Muslim city with empty Catholic Churches? I wouldn’t worry about the Institute of Christ the King there aren’t going to be any Catholics of any kind soon in the Preston area

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Preston has got to be one of the biggest dumps in England why would anyone want to live there it makes Birmingham look like Lourdes

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The narcissim Sipe wrote about has long been a feature of Roman Catholic clergy, literally going back centuries. It was the stumbling block, in the twelth century, between King Henry II and his Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.
Becket was very much on the cheering side of ‘privilege of clergy’, a highly notional view of priesthood and priests endorsed by Constantine. Becket, like Constantine, believed that Roman Catholic priests were special by dint of ordination and should, therefore, be treated more leniently than lay Catholics, even for such crimes as murder. Becket insisted that offending clergy be tried for crimes in Church courts rather than in the King’s courts. Henry wanted a judicial level playing field, so to speak, wheras Becket wanted the maintainence of clerical privilege, which cocked a snoop at the very idea of legal equality.
In the end (and the end here for Becket was inevitable), he was slain in Caterbury Cathedral, in 1173, for his principles. But the battle over the two visions of clergy to laity has continued ever since.
As recently as 2007, the Vatican insisted that the Colombian Government honour an agreement, made in 1973, between it and the Vatican, in which bishops in Colombia, even for such crimes as murder, be tried not in civil courts (like anyone else), but in Church courts. This is the degree of conceit and privilege lay people are up against.
The struggle to humble Roman Catholic clergy is not over (look again at the photographs of Burke…and his co-berks…and dare to declare otherwise), but they will be humbled, kicking and screaming if need be. For Jesus instructed his disciples to be servants of one another, and there is no such privilege in servanthood (in a worldly sense at least).
The narcissism Sipe wrote about has been around for a very long time, and it is not going to go away soon. It continues to be a faultline between clergy and laity, causing ever increasing damage to the Church (even threatening to collapse it altogether).

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Is mother Burke having a poo poo with his gentlemen of the chamber in attendance?
That lot need to get real in this day and age

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The pictures of Burke in the box were interesting to say the least. If I said I read the whole article I’d be lying hi. I can see a sub culture spirituality right enough. Tis like the caterpillar in th bottle hi. Oooo tis loverly in here until tis schyte I’m a butterfly and I can’t get out. Hi nothin worse than being stuck in th bottle but

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