Saturday, March 30, 2013

On the Pope's Call for an Outward-Looking Orientation: Parallels the Baha'i stance

Evils within the Church are caused by a self-centeredness and “theological narcissism” that forget to share Christ with people outside of the Church, Pope Francis said in the days before his election. 
“When the Church is self-referential, inadvertently, she believes she has her own light,” he said in a speech to the College of Cardinals before the start of the Conclave. 
When the Church ceases to be “the mysterium lunae,” that is, to depend on Christ for receiving and reflecting his, not its own, light, it then “gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness, which according to (Jesuit Cardinal Henri-Marie) De Lubac, is the worst evil that can befall the Church,” said then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The Church then “lives to give glory only to one another” and not the rest of the world, he added.

The new Catholic Pope advises his cardinals to be outward-looking. The following post on Bahá'í Epistolary explores the outward-looking orientation of Baha'is. It opens with a series of provocative questions.

Are we yet another congregation, buzzing ourselves up to proselytise more keenly, or is there something distinctive about the enterprise of growing the Baha'i community? Is this an inward-looking, bums on seats (we have no pews), my congregation is bigger than yours mindset we are cultivating? Or has this vision of growth anything deeper to offer to a world fast slipping from our fingers? We want, like most religious groups, to grow our community. Does our concept of community change the nature of the enterprise?

The New Paradigm for Bahá'í Community Building ...
Click over to read the post in its entirety. -gw

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