Clericalism defined by Fr.Trigilio

I thought this was a good article about Clericalism. Fr.Trigilio makes some great points in this article.

patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2013/10/all-too-often-it-is-the-so-called-liberal-priests-who-personify-clericalism/

So what is the point? Newsflash — priests are human and subject to the weaknesses that all of us experience

Taken from the article:

“Clericalism is a mindset, an attitude, a perspective. It patronizes and denigrates those who disagree and uses ad hominem attacks to belittle. When a priest speaks disrespectfully to an elderly woman and embarrasses her publicly at Mass merely because she exercises her legitimate option (as defined by Rome) to kneel or genuflect at Communion time rather than just stand, that is clericalism. When the faithful are denied their legitimate option to receive Holy Communion on the tongue or confession behind a screen, that is clericalism. When women are ridiculed and scoffed at by priests for wearing chapel veils, which is their option, that is clericalism. When some of the faithful ask the pastor if the Extraordinary Form could be celebrated in their parish and the priest goes ballistic and insults them and calls them fanatical, schismatic rad-trads, that is clericalism. When priests who wear roman vestments and lace albs instead of burlap potato sacks and moo-moo albs are laughed at and slandered by gossip among their brother diocesan clergy, that is clericalism.”

In my 50+ plus years I have seen examples where I could turn each one cited here where a “conservative” priest has castigated females for not being veiled, denied people their legitimate option to stand at communion, priests always referring to the Mass as “Novus Ordo” with a face of contempt like they swallowed a lemon whole, etc. So, I guess I could smear every “traditional priest” (not even sure what that means) using the same approach.

But where would that get me? Where does that get the body of Christ?

Does it make certain individuals feel better and sleep better at night that it’s really the “liberals” who are the “bad guys”? Do we really have to demonize each other?

Again, what’s the point?

Honestly I just think the article is wrong. There is no uniqueness listed in the article that makes the instances he sites an error of or concerning clericalism. Would it be any different of an error if a lay catechist did such things rather than a priest? We can agree that many of these things are errors, but what is it about them that makes them specific errors of clericalism?

Great article thanks for posting. Imo the liberalism that infected the Church after Vatican II damaged the Church and still is to some degree. I would say it is mostly the cause of the divisions today. I don’t think it does any good to make believe it does not exist.

No your right in that it is true that the Clericalism can go either way, No demonizing here, the point of the article is not to demonize anyone, although the article is showing how the traditional people are usually the ones getting mistreated. That’s where I think sound doctrine comes in, if you are preaching sound doctrine, dogma and teachings of the Church, personality differences are good.

The article is not wrong, and is a good work of exposing a rampant issue in Western Catholicism.

As for the lay catechist, you bring up a very good point, and one that illustrates the issue even better. Pope Francis, at the outset of his Papacy decried clericalism, ESPECIALLY IN THE CLERICALIZATION OF THE LAITY. IOW, the problem is so bad with the clergy, that it is spilling over onto the laity. So for example the DREs, Pastoral lay directors and other Parish staff, under the guidance of a clerical Pastor, become themselves clerical.

This is in direct opposition to the Gospel. The Gospel proclaims that those who would be first, must be the servant of all. So to take a high handed “because I’m the boss” approach to dealing with the congregation is opposed to the Gospel.

But like other dysfunctions it is co-dependent. If the laity is aware of their own Christian duties and rights, it is less likely they will fawn over a clerical pastor or staff.

Honestly I still think all the article is doing is slapping a fancy name on human judgmentalism and abuse of power and using that name to pretend it’s some special weakness of the clergy. It is not fundamentally different from priest to catechist, and nor is it any different from the same manifestations in an entirely secular teacher or official. Nor do I see evidence that there’s some special infestation aside from what happens in every place where one man has some authority or power.

Those who are ordained have a position of authority in the Church that no lay catechist will ever have. Granted, lay catechists can also be egomaniacs and bigots, but they are in a distinctly different position.

I agree with your point. The difference is the special office occupied by the priest that makes the difference.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.