Clericalism Is the Caste Mind-Set in the Church

Light of truth

“When slave trade flourished we benefitted from them; when colonizers marched through ‘pagan’ lands, we sided with them; when crusaders marched to fight, our ‘saints’ blessed them; when children and vulnerable adults were abused by the clergy, we covered up – in all these our ‘Canon Law’ got fattened! Only that we were not Christian enough then to ask forgiveness! Perhaps we will never be. Today we have someone who makes bold to say: let the doors of your churches be open, so that Jesus can go out to the streets and be rediscovered!”

“Studies across the world on child sexual abuse in the Church have shown that clericalism is the root cause of the abuses. “Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today. To say “no” to abuse is to say an emphatic “no” to all forms of clericalism.” Pope Francis is nailing ‘clericalism’ as the root cause of the many ills of the Church. Time and again he has spoken of the ills of ‘clericalism.’ (Cf. Interview to ‘La Repubblica’ September 2013; X’Mas Message to the Vatican Curia: 22 December 2014).

‘Clericalism’ is embedded in the way ecclesiology is conceived, in the way priesthood is understood, in the way liturgy is celebrated and in the way formation structures are designed. It is power as domination with a divine aura around it. It undermines the radical teaching of ‘power as service’ in the Gospels. Clericalism is the caste mind-set in the Church.”’

Extracts from his column in Jivan (Oct and Nov, 2018)

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