Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quote of the Day

Not long after the Irish government's report on the [clergy sex abuse crisis in the] Cloyne diocese smashed into the public eye, the Irish Prime Minister delivered an eloquent speech before the Irish Parliament in which he decried "the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism . . . the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day."

. . . Psychologists say when you assault a narcissist's inflated ego, you'll be belittled, mocked, even laughed at. The narcissist will sneer: Who are you to criticize the "superior" individual? Who are you to criticize the "powerful" one? Who are you to criticize the church?

From country to country we've seen a constant devaluation of the accusers. For the most part, official reactions have been wholly self-referential. Like a true narcissist, the church reacts as the offended party, and questions the truth of every statement. If you muddle through the weeds of some depositions you'll find a lot of "gaslighting" – denials, presenting of false information – all aimed at destroying the accusers' perceptions of reality. Both hypersensitive and incapable of empathy, the narcissist only argues his private truth.

Yes, it is enough to drive you crazy. Aren't professional ministers supposed to be "other directed"? What is "church" about? I keep thinking they're doing things in alphabetical order, and "golf" comes before "Gospel."

The fact is, the Vatican is looking more and more like the dysfunctional, disconnected, elitist and, yes, narcissistic operation the Prime Minister says it is.

– Phyllis Zagano
"Ireland, the Vatican and Clerical Narcissism"
National Catholic Reporter
August 3, 2011

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