Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Oh, Yes, It's Back: Clericalism

Shea has a bit of fun.

Clericalism is basically the bad idea that only the ordained and religious are fully Catholic and that laypeople are more or less second-class. With that idea comes a host of other bad ideas such as “Father is always right,” “Never disagree if a bishop does it,” and “Don’t question anything a priest or bishop does.”

...Clericalism, it turns out, is an equal-opportunity sin. It’s not reserved just to conservatives. Some of the most clerical people I know have been staunchly “progressive” dissenters and despisers of Church teaching who use their office to muzzle any attempt to question them when they “renovate” a Church, improve the liturgy into a festival of St. Narcissus, or transmute RCIA into a cell group for chanting slogans against the Magisterium on their favorite pelvic issues.

Of course, the "conservative" clericalists are equally obstreperous. I know of one who personally re-arranges the liturgical calendar, and for that matter, re-arranges the Roman Rite because he and his pals are more Catholic than the Pope. (Pick any Pope of the 20th and 21st Century--makes no difference.)

The error of clericalism (and its real desire) is not ministry, but power. Clericalists, both lay and ordained, see the priesthood as a place of power, and hunger for it. But Jesus saw the priesthood as a place of service. So does the Holy Church. That is why the sacrament of Holy Orders is described by the Catechism as a “sacrament at the service of communion.”

And of course, clericalism was the pre-eminent enabler of the priest- (and Bishop-) predators.


Anonymous said...

Does that make womenfolk third class?

Anonymous said...

Clericalism may insinuate that. I think Dad29 is saying that Clericalism is wrongly thinking that vocations in the Church are 'classes' especially thinking that the priethood is a priveledged class. The Church says its the reverse. The priesthood is a position of service. They are the 'butlers' of the feast who have to prepare and serve the bread.