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Clericalism

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by pearl, Aug 18, 2022.

  1. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    I remember soon after the beginning of his papacy, Francis warned of the problem of clericalism within the Church.
    Clericalism, the report argues, is a systemic issue that creates unhealthy environments in the church, and not a phenomenon unique to certain bad actors.

    A number of Catholic researchers have argued for years that a culture of clericalism perpetuated abuse. More recently, church leaders from Pope Francis to diocesan parish priests have publicly agreed with that sentiment. In 2018, the pope said clericalism had allowed abuse and its cover-up to flourish in the church.

    “Rather than describing clericalism as an individual reality—a problem of ‘bad apples’—this study maps clericalism as a structural reality shaped by the interaction of three forces: sex, gender, and power,” the authors write.

    About 40 percent of priests and men in formation for the priesthood took part in the study identified as homosexual, far higher than the general population. The report cites studies showing that homosexuality is not a root cause for the church’s abuse crisis, but notes that the church’s teaching against homosexuality creates a culture of secrecy among priests who identify as gay.

    “The concentration of gay men in the priesthood cannot be overlooked because most priests are not able to be open about their sexual orientation,” the report states, “and some may consciously or unconsciously seek out priesthood as a way of avoiding or repressing their sexuality, making healthy celibacy extraordinarily difficult.”

    A culture of silence around the reality of gay priests, in addition to “widespread sexual repression” and a lack of understanding about gender, creates conditions where secrecy and protecting the institution become primary concerns.

    “When male clergy choose secrecy over exposure, they are protecting male spaces of knowledge and power,” the report states.

    The report also found church environments, especially Catholic seminaries, offer few chances for priests and those studying to become priests to interact with women.

    “Just as networks enable men in entertainment, sports and politics to protect male power and privilege while disadvantaging their female colleagues, clerical networks protect men who abuse both minors and adults,” the report finds.

    When it comes to dealing with their sexuality, about half of priests who took part in the survey said “repression or sublimation were presented to them as strategies.” Just half of the priests and those studying to become priests said they felt they were given “the tools they needed for living a celibate life without denying their sexuality.”

    The survey also found many priests and deacons who participated felt they were open to feedback but the lay respondents said they did not feel comfortable offering critiques on things like preaching. That dynamic, the authors said, “often shields clergy from criticism and maintains a status quo characterized by silence.”

    The report, which was funded with a grant from Fordham University as part of an initiative to confront sexual abuse at Jesuit institutions, says that all Catholics have a role to play in changing the culture of the church in order to prevent clergy sexual abuse and its cover-up.

    Dr. Rubio said that parishes and schools that rely solely on safe environment training are “missing the boat” when it comes to making church-affiliated institutions truly safe.

    “This is a relational reality, a structural reality,” she said. “And part of the deal with structures is that they work on us even when we’re not aware of them and even when we don’t want to act a certain way.”

    Instead, preventing abuse and its cover-up will take a concerted effort among priests, members of religious communities and laity to understand the root causes of why certain behaviors have been tolerated in these spaces.

    Those ideas include creating spaces where priests and seminarians can have honest discussions about sexuality, clear understanding about appropriate boundaries between priests and adult lay people, opportunities to study gender, and empowering the laity.

    “We hope these recommendations might assert some small influence on the formation of future priests, deacons and lay ministers, driving the Church away from the evils of structural clericalism and fostering new ways of being the Body of Christ that are consistent with the Gospel proclamation of life, love, and liberation for all God’s people,” the authors state.

    ‘Beyond Bad Apples’: A new report explores how clericalism is shaped by sex, gender and power | America Magazine
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Throughout the 2000 years of history of the Church, the number of sexually active clergymen has been countless.
    And I mean heterosexual clergymen, above all.
    Now, there surely are so many priests who have consensual and occasional sex with lay people, either men or women.
    I will not judge venial sins. Only God can.
    But I do judge traitors. Those who belong to secret deviated lodges and still want to belong to the Roman Catholic Church.

    To be Catholic means to believe that not all sins are equal. The gravest sins are not those of the flesh, but those of the spirit.
     
  3. questfortruth

    questfortruth Well-Known Member

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    Clericalism is the application of the formal, church-based, leadership or opinion of ordained clergy in matters of either the Church or broader political and sociocultural import.

    It is a good thing. What is wrong to be a bit religious?
     
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