Speakers at the meeting chaired by Fr Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of the Jesuit journal, were Lucetta Scaraffia, an Italian historian, Fr Luigi Ciotti and Lorenzo FazzinI, director of Editrice Missionaria Italiana.
Bergoglio stated: “Factions fighting to impose the hegemony of their own viewpoint and preferences are fairly common in religious communities, both local and provincial. This occurs when charitable openness to neighbour is replaced by each individual’s own ideas. It is no longer the religious family as a whole which the religious defends, but only the part of it that concerns him. People no longer adhere to the unity that contributes to configuring the Body of Christ, but rather to the divisive, distorting, and debilitating conflict. For formation teachers and superiors it is not always easy to inculcate a sense of belonging to the family spirit, especially when it is necessary to shape inner attitudes, even small ones, but which have repercussions at this level of the institutional body. One of the effective attitudes that must acquire substance in the hearts of young religious is that of ‘self-accusation’, for it is in the absence of this practice that the spirit of separation and division is rooted. It is therefore essential first of all to ban every reference, even an unconscious one, and every kind of pharisaic attitude that presents self-accusation as something puerile or characteristic of the cowardly. Self-accusation, rather, presupposes a rare courage in order to open the door to unknown realities and let others see beyond my appearance. It means removing all our make-up so that the truth may shine through.
The accusation of ourselves (which is only a means) is the basis in which the fundamental option puts down roots: for anti-individualism and for a family and Church spirit which brings us to relate as good children and good siblings, so as to succeed later in being good parents. Accusing ourselves implies a fundamentally communitarian attitude”.