He points out that sin is not some objectivity “out there” that stains and sullies me, and that I must remove. Rather, sin is me turning back on myself and being immersed in myself: being “self-referential.” I have to turn away from myself – which is precisely the act of faith.
“(F)or me, sin is not a stain I need to clean. What I must do is ask for forgiveness and reconcile myself to it, not go to the dry cleaner around the corner. I need to go and find Jesus, who gave His life for me. This is an idea that is quite different from sin. In other words: sin properly assumed is the privileged place of personally finding Jesus Christ our Savior, of rediscovering the deep meaning that He has for me. In short, it is the possibility to live the wonder of having been saved.”
Bergoglio is asked about “a growing indifference toward religion on the one hand, and a stron search for religion on the other, not always through orthodox ways:
“Exactly. There is a denial of God due to secularization, the selfish egoism of humanity. And there are a thousand ways to search for God that require one to be careful not to fall into a consumer experience or, at its extreme, a kind of ‘immanent transcendence,’ that still does not result in true piety. What happens is that it is more difficult to enter into personal contact with God, a God that waits for me and loves. The pantheism in the air, like a spray, does not last. At the end of this kind of search we need some kind of idol, and we end up adoring a tree or seeing God on a tree.”