Archive for category Clericalism

North Carolina ‘Church in Exile’ battles restorationists / National Catholic Reporter

“The clericalism has been canonized,” said a religious sister active in parish ministry in the diocese who also did not want to be named for fear of incurring the wrath of the bishop.

It’s a few nights after a January snowstorm, and the mountain pathways around Waynesville are treacherous. Still, some 30 Catholics arrive for a meeting to talk about their parish.

“Or perhaps their former parish. These are the people of St. John the Evangelist Church in Waynesville who, soon after the arrival of Fr. Christopher Riehl as parish administrator in July 2014, formed what they call a Church in Exile.

“They described why they left: Their de facto pastor told the mostly cradle Catholics they had been doing everything all wrong. The liturgy — overwhelmed with popular contemporary hymns and such standbys as “Amazing Grace” — was not deemed Catholic enough. Veteran catechists were told they weren’t teaching traditional Catholicism. A blind parishioner, holding her guide dog with one hand and seeking Communion with the other, was told she lacked proper reverence. The host was stuck into her mouth …

“It is not a unique situation. Across the country, some young pastors, inspired by their seminary training or informal networks with other young priests, are determined to push the clock back before the church’s liturgical and governance practices of the post-Vatican II era. They have what some perceive as a fetish for elaborate liturgical vestments and other externals, such as the routine wearing of cassocks and birettas. Some of these priests call themselves, and sometimes others call them, restorationists.”

By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope: Clericalism distances the people from the Church / Vatican Radio

“The evil of clericalism is a very ugly thing! It is a new edition of these people. And the victim is the same: the poor and humble people that awaits the Lord.” (Pope Francis)

The spirit of clericalism is an evil that is present in the Church today, Pope Francis said, and the victim of this spirit is the people, who feel discarded and abused. That was the Pope’s message in the homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.

“Among those taking part in the Mass were the members of the Council of cardinals, who are meeting with the Pope this week in Rome.

“In his homily, Pope Francis warned pastors of the dangers of becoming ‘intellectuals of religion’ with a morality far from the Revelation of God.

By Vatican Radio on News.va — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Frank Brennan (Australian Jesuit priest): Breaking confessional seal won’t stop abuse / CathNews.com

“The clericalist mindset of a celibate male clergy compounded the vulnerability of children preyed on by Church personnel.” (Fr. Frank Brennan)

‘”With the seal of confession intact, a pedophile may find a listening ear to assist with the decision to turn himself in. If a law is introduced to say that a priest should reveal a confession, I will disobey the law,’ writes Fr Frank Brennan, SJ.

“‘Like most Australians, I have been appalled and distressed by the revelations before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“‘I hope this five-year royal commission is able to provide solutions so that institutions are made safe places for children. I am one of those Catholics who has been rocked by the disproportionate number of victims whose assailants have been members of my Church in positions of trust.

“‘Of course, the Church ran more schools and orphanages than most other organisations. But that provides no excuse or justification for what went on. Nor does it provide a complete explanation for the horrific statistics.'”

By Fr. Frank Brennan, S.J., human rights lawyer and academic, on CathNews.com — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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On women clergy, Pope Francis fears ‘disease’ of clericalism / Cruxnow.com

“Despite the fact that he stands today at the apex of the clerical pecking order, there’s a sense in which Pope Francis is the most anti-clerical pontiff in Catholic history.”

During his customary in-flight news conference at the end of his trip to Sweden yesterday, Pope Francis took a question on women priests and not only reiterated, as he has several times in the past, that St. Pope John Paul has already said no, but he appeared to suggest that the Church’s ‘no’ is forever.

“‘If we read carefully the declaration of St. John Paul II, it goes in that direction,’ Francis said.

“What that response didn’t address, however, is the more interesting question currently percolating about women clergy, which is the matter of whether women can, and should, be ordained as deacons. I say it’s more ‘interesting’ largely because Francis’s answer is less predictable, and therefore the outcome is more up for grabs.

“I don’t know how to handicap where the pope will come down on the issue, but I do know where to begin in trying to describe how he’s likely to approach it: What he sees as the ‘disease’ of clericalism, and the danger of clericalism setting the tone for discussions of women in the Church.

“Despite the fact that he stands today at the apex of the clerical pecking order, there’s a sense in which Pope Francis is the most anti-clerical pontiff in Catholic history …”

By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Focus on preaching the kingdom is key to ending clericalism / National Catholic Reporter

What we need in today’s Roman Catholic church is a redistribution of power and authority. Pope Francis’ openness to the possibility of having women deacons is not nearly enough to achieve this essential organizational revolution …

“Francis should change canon law so one does not have to be a priest to be the ‘pastor’ of a parish. Give qualified lay men and women and male and female deacons real power and authority to lead some of our faith communities. This change would have two important consequences. It would disconnect the roles of priest and pastor and significantly change the culture of clericalism that Francis rightly deplores …

“Francis is to be applauded for his critique of clericalism and careerism and his emphasis on the Gospel call to bring peace and justice into everyone’s life, especially that of the poor. But if he and others do not make significant changes in the Catholic church’s current power structure and help us return to an emphasis on its mission to call people to discipleship by preaching peace and justice, I believe his efforts will fall far short of what we and the world need from us and our church today.

“We need some big changes in our church and the time is now.”

By Jim Purcell, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.

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Francis: Spirit works in laypeople, ‘is not property of the hierarchy’ / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has again sharply denounced the culture of clericalism among priests in the Catholic church, calling it ‘one of the greatest deformations’ that must be confronted by the global faith community and saying it helps ‘diminish and undervalue’ the contributions that laypeople make.

“The pontiff has also strongly reaffirmed the right of laypeople to make decisions in their lives, saying that priests must trust that the Holy Spirit is working in them and that the Spirit ‘is not only the ‘property’ of the ecclesial hierarchy.’

“In a letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet in his role as the head of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, released by the Vatican Tuesday (Apr. 25), Francis says he wants to speak to the members of the commission about how to better serve what he terms ‘the Holy Faithful People of God.’

“‘Evoking the Holy Faithful People of God is to evoke that horizon which we are invited to look at and reflect upon,’ states the pope. ‘It is the Holy Faithful People of God that as pastors we are continually invited to look to, to protect, to accompany, to sustain and to serve.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Voice of the Faithful wonders whether any clergy are listening to the Pope.

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Don’t put priests on a pedestal / U.S. Catholic

“declaring a pox on clericalism” and how we can end it —

Finally there appears an issue that our divided church can agree on. Catholics of all stripes—conservatives and liberals and in-betweens—are declaring a pox on clericalism. From Pope Francis to the back pew widow, from seminary rectors to lay ecclesial ministers, we agree that clericalism is crippling the pastoral mission of the church.”

“At the same time it is strengthening the secularists’ claim that Catholic clergy are nothing more than papal agents bent on enforcing rigid moral controls that smother our human instinct for pleasure and freedom. So let’s end clericalism in the church.”

By Father Donald Cozzens, U.S. Catholic — Click here to read the rest of this column.

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