Tackle Clericalism First When Attempting Priesthood Reform

By Fr. Peter Daly
National Catholic Reporter
August 13, 2019

If the priesthood is to be reformed, we must tackle the disease of clericalism. It won't be easy. Clericalism is so deeply engrained in our structures and way of thinking that we almost can't imagine how things could be otherwise.

In his 2018 "Letter to the People of God," Pope Francis condemned the sins of sexual abuse and the abuse of power in the church. He linked those sins to clericalism. "To say no to abuse is to say an emphatic no to all forms of clericalism."

What is clericalism?

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests put out a white paper on clericalism in June 2019. It defines clericalism is "an expectation, leading to abuses of power, that ordained ministers are better than and should be over everyone else among the People of God."








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