As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the then-Cardinal Bergoglio made these remarks regarding the problem of the clericalisation of the lay faithful:
“There is a problem, and I’ve said it many times before: the temptation of clericalisation. We priests tend to clericalize the laity. We don’t realize it, but it is like our [clerical state] being contagious. And the laity – not all, but many – ask us on their knees to clericalise them because it’s more comfortable to be an altar server than the protagonist of the way [of life] of the laity. We don’t have to fall into that trap. It is a complicity that is sinful. Neither to clericalise nor to ask to be clericalised. The lay person is a lay person and has to live like a lay person with the strength of baptism, which renders him capable of being leaven of God’s love in society itself, to create and sow hope, to proclaim the faith, not from the pulpit but from his or her daily life. And carrying the cross like we all do. The lay person’s cross, not the priest’s cross. Let the priest carry the priest’s cross. God gave him shoulder enough to bear it”.