Saturday, January 4, 2014
Even Pope Francis has Mentioned the Scourge of Narcissism
It shouldn't surprise us too much to encounter narcissistic behavior in church. Even Pope Francis mentioned this prevalent personality disorder during an interview last fall, in which he claimed some spiritual leaders have been "narcissists."
So it only makes sense that this behavior trickles down into the pews. You'll find narcissists in parishes, typically in positions of leadership, because they like to run things. That's why it's better to stand back and let them.
The Catholic Church is both divine and human, just as Christ was when he came to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. It's made up of imperfect people. Sometimes it's the pastor who has narcissistic traits. If that's the case, he will surround himself with other like-minded people. Narcissists tend to cluster, in order to support one another.
Walking into a church doesn't mean it's going to be Heaven on earth, because that's not possible this side of the veil. I believe this information is very important, especially for someone who's been away from church and is now coming back.
There is a tendency to jump right in enthusiastically and do all you can for God, to make up for lost time. But, because there's so much sin right now, the devil is extremely powerful. Newly reverted Catholics are very excited about their faith, and they want to share it. However, this enthusiasm may not be received well by some of the long-time parishioners, especially if they have narcissistic tendencies.
Flickr photo by Howdy, I'm H. Michael Karshis
If you'd like to read more about female narcissism, please visit my Female Bullies blog.