There are a few terms in common usage which I would like to be able to reform in common usage. For example, I wish that “priestcraft” wasn’t so relentlessly derogatory. It can mean “professional knowledge and skill in respect to the exercise of priestly functions” but it almost always is taken to mean, “the scheming and machinations of priests”. It would be nice to say that seminarians are learning “priestcraft”, the craft of doing things priests do. That, alas, is not the common definition.
I would leave “jesuitical”, however, just as it is. Just. As. It. Is.
I’ve been thinking about the term “clericalism”. Definitions vary widely.
In a political sense, clericalism has to do with the involvement of clerics in governance and affairs of state, as opposed to “laicism”. Merriam Webster goes straight to “a policy of maintaining or increasing the power of a religious hierarchy”. Oxford says, “(especially in Roman Catholic contexts) the misuse or overextension of the clergy’s authority.”
When we hear clericalism, it is almost always pejorative. Clerics have or grasp at too much authority, beyond their spiritual sphere.
John Paul II identified a different kind of clericalism, one to which I have often referred on this blog: the attempt, especially by libs, to turn lay people into faux-clerics. I see it this way. If clericalism is a negative treatment of lay people, about the worse thing you can do to them is suggest that, on their own as baptized faithful, they aren’t good enough. Hence, the worst sort of clericalism is a condescending attitude whereby priests and bishop “allow” lay people to do things in the liturgy or elsewhere, that are really the bailiwick of clerics. Unwittingly, this is what those who seek the ordination of women are doing to women. It’s awful.
Another idea of clericalism is not that which comes from the clergy, but that which comes from the laity themselves. Some lay people have, whether clerics have promoted it or not, a distorted view of who clerics are and what they are for. This can lead, of course, also to the flipside of the coin: anti-clericalism. Although I admit willingly to a strong dose of anti-clericalism, in the sense that I really don’t like some of my brethren. The feeling is mutual.
I have, however, tried sometimes to promote a more positive idea of clericalism. For example, I think it is important for priests to spend time together, to give each other positive support, apart from the eyes and ears of lay people. Clerics are, after all, by definition, distinct from laity, especially these days, since the clerical state begins with the imposition of an indelible mark on the soul through sacramental ordination. To this end, I have, with tongue in cheek, hosted “Suppers For The Promotion Of Clericalism”, intended to bring men together for mutual support and the recharging of batteries. But, alas, that’s not how most people hear the word, which is why I have fun using “promotion of clericalism” in that social context. We have to keep a sense of humor.
In another, now sadly common use, Francis relentlessly speaks of clericalism but it is hard to know what he means. He is the master of the strawman, incessantly throwing censorious jabs and insults at vaguely – at best – identified groups. Right now, for Francis and his Team, “clericalism” seems to mean, “the desire to expose the truth about the crimes that bishops and the Curia have obviously been covering up and then root them out.”
Maybe it isn’t so hard to know what he means, at least right now.
The problem is, often, that clericalism is loosely defined and often a caricature of some usually negative reality.
These days, however, we are seeing clericalism use, along the lines I suggest above, as a kind of a dodge, a strawman.
It is increasingly clear that The Present Crisis has been largely brought about by homosexual clergy who have created a subculture in the Church.
Some of these clerics are homosexualists, seeking consciously to build this subculture for the sake of grasping the reins of power and maintain that power. Others, succumbing to the temptations of their disordered desires, simply want to stay on the low down. Either way, there is a culture of coverup. It’s clerical, in that it is in clerical circles and it concerns all that they do in their clerical lives. But it is, more fundamentally a homosexualist attitude or disorder which seeks to keep itself hidden so that it can get power or just get on. Also, because this disorder often preys on the young, which is mostly illegal and nearly always at least highly unethical, the desire to cover up the reality of this subculture is powerful. And then there is the influence of the Devil, and the demonic which attaches to the sins committed and the places where they are perpetrated.
It is really nasty business, this subculture, replete with nearly every sort of human depravity that the Enemy of the soul can promote in chains of sins, each leading to worse and worse lows.
Those who desire to avert our attention from the REAL cause of The Present Crisis cry “Clericalism!” as if it is a result of clerics, in general, wanting a distorted and exalted role of privilege and dominance. Sure, there is some of that kind of clericalism in the Church and it would be stupid and counterproductive to deny it. However, that’s apart from the sort of clericalism inflicted by the homosexual cabal in the Church.
We need a new term for the machinations of homosexualist clerics and their lay counterparts who are trying to deflect attention away from the true roots of The Present Crisis.
When Team Francis and their allies use the word “clericalism”, it is code for sodoclericalism.
The left and homosexualists have hijack the word “clericalism”. Nay, rather, they are trying to redefine “clericalism”.
We, however, know that when they claim “Clericalism!”, they really mean “sodoclericalism”.
When, for example, over at Fishwrap Madame Defarge writes about “clericalism”, or Mickens or Spadaro or Rosica or Faggioli or these usual suspects talk about “clericalism”, what they are covering over is sodoclericalism. That’s what you should hear when you find their attempts to distract from the real problem we face.
BTW… moderation is ON. And if I don’t think you “get it”, I’ll hold your comments for while, if I hold them at all. I am not going to let this go down a
rabbit hole… no… what we must now call a
… Cupich hole.