The detestable heresy of clericalism

The detestable heresy of clericalism April 26, 2016

San-Pietro-StatueThe letter of Pope Francis to Cardinal Ouellet (about the role of lay people in the Church) is interesting, and the most important point is, in my opinion, that he has spoken about the detestable heresy of clericalism. Once again he has condemned this terminal illness for the life of the Church but people, inside and outside the Church (but specially inside) pretend that it is good to quote Pope Francis when he is speaking about abstract concepts but not when he is jeopardizing their own “special interests”. Pope Francis himself should have a walk inside his Vatican and notice how this problem is really big outside the Vatican, while it is actually devastating inside:

“He urged the clergy to look closely at the people and lives of the lay faithful and avoid falling into the trap of adopting certain slogans on their behalf that seem well-meaning but in practice don’t succeed in supporting the lives of our communities. Pointing to the example of a famous phrase “it’s time for the laity,” he noted that in this particular case, that clock has ground to a halt. We must remember, he said, that as clergy we all began our lives as lay people and that “we’d do well to recall that the Church is not an elite of priests, of consecrated people, of bishops but all of us make up the faithful and Holy People of God.” Turning to the issue of clericalism, the Pope said he considered it the outcome of “a mistaken way of living out the ecclesiology proposed by the Second Vatican Council” and described clericalism as “one of the greatest distortions affecting the Church in Latin America.”  He said clericalism has many negative impacts such as wiping out the personality of Christians and causing a belittling of the grace of our baptism that the Holy Spirit has placed in the hearts of lay people. Clericalism, he reminded, “forgets that the visibility and the sacramentality of the Church belong to all the people of God and not just to an illuminated and elected few”” (From Vatican Radio).


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