Clerical Narcissism
 
Four days before he was elected Pope on March 13, 2013, Francis spoke to his fellow Cardinals and identified ecclesiastical narcissism as a fundamental illness the Church needs to address. His vision is rich and substantial. It is a perspective that affects the mission of all Catholics.
 
Victims often blame themselves for their assaults. They, as do all Catholics, need to confront the causes and context of clerical abuse with an ever-deeper understanding of their dynamics.
 
The following talks were prepared for a conference in 2012 that strove to help victims of clerical abuse cope with the confusion caused by their betrayal by trusted clerics.
 
Clinicians who have treated clergy abusers have long identified clerical narcissism as an essential component of the individual and institutional pattern.
We must explore the underlying factors that condition priests and people for abuse and its cover-up by the institution. The authors are aware that they are only at the beginning of the process of discovery. We eagerly encourage exploration and discussion of the issues of clergy sexual abuse and its relationship to ecclesiastical narcissism.
 
We desperately need to explore the clerical cultural in order to meet the demands of Francis for “decisive action” in the battle against clergy who sexually abuse minors.
 
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