Narcissism is a spiritual virus, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis addresses members of the Pontifical Academy for Life

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Behind the indifference toward human life lies a contagious illness that blinds people to the challenges and struggles of others, Pope Francis said.

Like the mythical figure Narcissus, people risk becoming infected by a “contagious spiritual virus” that turns them into “mirrored men and women who only see themselves and nothing else,” the Pope said.

The Pope addressed the Pontifical Academy for Life as it began its general assembly on Monday, reflecting on the theme “Equal beginnings, but then? A global responsibility.”

“Evil looks to persuade us that death is the end of all things, that we have come to the world by chance and that we are destined to end in nothingness. By excluding the other from our horizon, life withdraws in itself and becomes just a good to be consumed,” he said.

The Pope told members that the “ethical and spiritual quality of life in all its phases” must inspire the Church’s “behaviour toward human ecology”.

He also said that life from conception, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age, as well in those moments when it is “fragile and sick, wounded, offended, demoralised, marginalised and those cast aside” is “always human life”.

“When we surrender children to deprivation, the poor to hunger, the persecuted to war, the elderly to abandonment, we are not doing our own work but rather the dirty work of death. And where does the ‘dirty work’ of death come from? It comes from sin,” he said.