Pope Francis meets pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, March 24, 2013.

Pope Francis Reportedly Blasted 'Theological Narcissism' Before Election

Cuban cardinal releases handwritten outline of speech delivered before conclave.

Pope Francis meets pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, March 24, 2013.
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Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega on Tuesday published a hand-written outline of a speech drafted by former Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and delivered to fellow cardinals before he was elected pope.

The document was published Tuesday by the Cuban Catholic magazine Palabra Nueva. The publication's website went down Tuesday afternoon, presumably due to a significant influx of traffic.

The short document, written in Spanish, denounced what Bergoglio called "theological narcissism," according to a Spanish-to-English translation by The Associated Press.

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"When the church does not emerge from itself to evangelize, it becomes self-referential and therefore becomes sick," Bergoglio said, according to the AP translation. "The evils that, over time, occur in ecclesiastical institutions have their root in self-referentiality, a kind of theological narcissism."

According to a report by the EFE news agency, Palabra Nueva says the document was given by Bergoglio to Ortega after he requested a copy of a speech delivered by the Argentine cardinal ahead of the secretive papal conclave. The report says Bergoglio authorized distribution of the speech after he was elected pope, at which time he took the name Francis.

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Bergoglio said the church should "move outside itself to the existential peripheries," which include a focus on sin, suffering and injustice, according to the AP.

Since his elevation to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis has pointedly exhibited a degree of humility uncommon of world leaders. When he was unveiled at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican he was wearing a simple wooden cross, as opposed to the ornate crosses worn by predecessors. He personally called his newspaper vendor in Argentina to cancel his subscription and on Tuesday the church announced that he would not live in the palatial Vatican apartments reserved for popes, but rather in a Vatican guest suite.

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