A look on the definition of the word "rigid" means - unable to bend or be forced out of shape, not flexible.

From the point of view of Catholic faith or teachings or much better according to the mind of Pope Francis, what is the meaning of "rigid Catholic"?


1 Answer 1


Here are his usages of the word "rigid" (and its derivatives) from the Pope Francis Little Book of Insults, with citations:

  1. Rigid Christians!
  2. They call themselves Christians, they call themselves Catholics, but their rigid attitude distances them from the Church!
  3. They are men who are locked in their calculations! They are slaves to their rigidity!
  4. Those who take refuge in the slavery of rigidity and know nothing of God's mercy!
  5. The closed, legalistic slave of his own rigidity!
  6. God does not love rigidity!
  7. A rigid idealism that prevents reconciliation between each other!
  8. The rigidity of the laws and an idealism that harms us!
  9. Jesus frees us from the chains of the law's rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable!’
  10. Escape from all rigidity!
  11. People will try to block you, to make you think that God is distant, rigid and insensitive!
  12. Behind an attitude of rigidity there is always something else in the life of a person!
  13. Rigidity is not a gift of God!
  14. Rigidity conceals the leading of a double life, something pathological!
  15. It is not easy to walk within the Law of the Lord without falling into rigidity!
  16. Those who think that by becoming rigid they are following the path of the Lord!
  17. Unchanging, rigidity…the Law is about moving forward, the Kingdom of God is moving forward, it is not standing still!
  18. A rigid person only has masters and no father!
  19. But to make themselves important, intermediary priests must take the path of rigidity!
  20. They are rigid, [they are] those rigid ones that load upon the faithful so many things that they do not carry [themselves]!
  21. Rigid Intermediaries!
  22. ‘This cannot be, this cannot be ...’. And so many people approaching, looking for a bit of consolation, a little understanding, are chased away with this rigidity!
  23. Rigidity – which wrecks one’s interior life and even psychic balance – goes hand-in-glove with worldliness!
  24. About rigidity and worldliness, it was some time ago that an elderly monsignor of the curia came to me, who works, a normal man, a good man, in love with Jesus – and he told me that he had gone to buy a couple of shirts at Euroclero [the clerical clothing store] and saw a young fellow - he thinks he had not more than 25 years, or a young priest or about to become a priest - before the mirror, with a cape, large, wide, velvet, with a silver chain. He then took the Saturno [wide-brimmed clerical headgear], he put it on and looked himself over. A rigid and worldly one. And that priest – he is wise, that monsignor, very wise - was able to overcome the pain, with a line of healthy humor and added: ‘And it is said that the Church does not allow women priests!’
  25. Instead of opening their heart to the gift, they hid, have sought refuge in the rigidity of the Commandments, which they had multiplied up to 500 or more!
  26. These rigid characters were afraid of the freedom that God gives us: they were afraid of love!
  27. The rigidity of the closed Commandments, that are more and more safe – with emphasis on the scare-quotes!
  • Wow! I did not anticipate this kind of well reference answer.Thanks. Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 23:35
  • @ianjoseph198 It looks like the compiler of the Little Book of Insults hasn't updated it since March 2017, so there could be more. It seems Francis takes the word as synonymous with worldliness and Pharisaism (living by the letter and not the spirit of the Law; cf. 2 Cor. 3:6: "the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth.").
    – Geremia
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 23:37
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    Why the chosen word is "insult" when the cited reference are clearly coming from homily and other interviews does not sound as insult? it seems the chosen word is quite slanderous. Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 4:21
  • @ianjoseph198 It comes from his 9 June 2016 homily that "we have a very creative vocabulary for insulting others".
    – Geremia
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 16:19
  • I dont see any words of insult in your link coming from Pope Francis. The homily was inspired by the Holy Spirit for the guidance of the faithful and not meant to insult anyone. Its like his homily on the Great Accuser Unchain on which Ab.Vigano reacted immediately accusing Pope Francis of "subtle slander". The word of God is like a double-edged sword and it penetrates the hearts of men and if we are guilty then by God's grace it will convict us. A homily by pious priest esp. the Pope is always guided by the Holy Spirit. Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 23:42

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