Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pale in comparison

Who says Archbishop Weakland and many priests are narcissists? Archbishop Weakland.

He recalls returning from to Milwaukee from his first ad limina visit to the Vatican in 1979. Among items left behind by Archbishop Cousins, he finds a psychological profile of priests by Eugene Kennedy and Victor Heckler and a sociological study by Father Andrew Greeley. Both studies had been commissioned by the U.S. Bishops.
The findings of the reports corresponded to my limited experience with diocesan clergy. In particular, I resonated with the statement that psychological and social immaturity was one of the most serious problems among diocesan priests; according to the authors this indicated a weakness in the formation process. It is difficult to define immaturity, but we often recognize it in others when we see it; and to be honest, I had to recognize that same immaturity in myself. In addition, I was becoming concerned that narcissism was equally a problem among the clergy; again I could see this in myself. (pp. 248-249)

If admitting the problem is the first step, the book is not an account of subsequent steps, either as to himself or seminary formation.

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