Sunday, November 25, 2018

Clericalism and abuse

My latest on LifeSite News.

A key passage:

The erasing of the distinction between clergy and laity does not remove the danger of the abuse of power. Priests who see themselves, or are seen by the laity, primarily as managers, and perhaps as more-or-less interchangeable with their lay assistants, rather than as men consecrated to a special sacramental role, can very easily abuse the power which their managerial status gives them. 
Even more dangerous is the substitution of personal charisma for formal clerical prerogatives, as the basis of a priest’s role in the community. It is clear enough where the role of the ordained priesthood begins and ends, what he has authority over and what he does not, what obligations he has and to whom he is responsible. A charismatic leader is not bound by any of this, and the devotion of his followers very easily opens up opportunities for abuse of all kinds. 
Read it all there.

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