GeE 45: Feeling Superior

See the source imageThe problem of the pope calling out some Catholics for feeling morally superior didn’t start with this pope. Check John Paul II for this concern:

45. A dangerous confusion can arise. We can think that because we know something, or are able to explain it in certain terms, we are already saints, perfect and better than the “ignorant masses”. Saint John Paul II warned of the temptation on the part of those in the Church who are more highly educated “to feel somehow superior to other members of the faithful”. [Vita Consecrata 38]

What we know, or what we think we know, should urge us to movement, not stasis:

In point of fact, what we think we know should always motivate us to respond more fully to God’s love. Indeed, “you learn so as to live: theology and holiness are inseparable”. [Letter to the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina for the Centenary of the Founding of the Faculty of Theology (3 March 2015)]

I can think of my positive experience with professors (among others), and their assistance to me, and what I heard of their involvement for others. A Scripture scholar who offered discernment for marriage and having children to a couple. A professor who offered to assist me through a particularly difficult yet rich time of discernment. If anyone could claim more knowledge than the rest of us, it might be theology professors. But with near uniformity, I recall the best teachers as having the most generous spirits of those I’ve encountered in the Church.

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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