Simone Weil on the church as a social structure

What frightens me is the Church as a social structure. Not only on account of its blemishes, but from the very fact that it is something social. It is not that I am of a very individualistic temperament. I am afraid for the opposite reason. I am aware of very strong gregarious tendencies in myself. My natural disposition is to be very easily influenced, too much influenced, and above all by anything collective. I know that if at this moment I had before me a group of twenty young Germans singing Nazi songs in chorus, a part of my soul would instantly become Nazi…

There were some saints who approved of the Crusades or the Inquisition. I cannot help thinking that they were in the wrong. I cannot go against the light of conscience. If I think that on this point I see more clearly than they did, I who am so far below them, I must admit that in this matter they were blinded by something very powerful. This something was the Church seen as a social structure. If this social structure did them harm, what harm would it not do me, who am particularly susceptible to social influences and who am almost infinitely more feeble than they were?

Simone Weil, in a letter to Fr Perrin explaining one of her reasons for refusing baptism. Quoted by Eric Reitan in this post. He elaborates:

As I see it, what Weil was resisting was that within real human religious life that has the power to eclipse what is most essential to religious life. And she resisted it not because she hated community and social organization but because she loved that essence more.

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