carefully cultivated appearances, it is not always
linked to outward sin; from without, everything
appears as it should be. But if it were to seep
into the Church, “it would be infinitely more dis-
astrous than any other worldliness which is sim-
ply moral”.
94. This worldliness can be fuelled in two
deeply interrelated ways. One is the attraction of
gnosticism, a purely subjective faith whose only
interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas
and bits of information which are meant to con-
sole and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one
imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feel-
ings. The other is the self-absorbed promethean
neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust
only in their own powers and feel superior to
others because they observe certain rules or re-
main intransigently faithful to a particular Catho-
lic style from the past. A supposed soundness of
doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissis-
tic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of
evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others,
and instead of opening the door to grace, one
exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and
verifying. In neither case is one really concerned
about Jesus Christ or others. These are manifes-
tations of an anthropocentric immanentism. It
is impossible to think that a genuine evangeliz-
 H. D
Méditation sur l’Église
, Paris, 1968, 321.
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