“On the same day last week (Nov. 10), two reports on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church made headlines. The first report, released by the Vatican, is the so-called ‘McCarrick report’ … The second report was released by an independent commission in the U.K … What the reports have in common is long lists of sexual abuse victims and their broken families. The testimonies of survivors are instructive for the quality of their demand for justice and yet, to paraphrase Tolstoy, each unhappy survivor story ‘is unhappy in its own way.’ Each story is unbearable in its details of the physical and psycho-spiritual torture and the chronic wounds that remain.
“Both reports released last week reveal water made toxic by clericalism, or the misuse, overreach, or outright idolatry of clergy’s authority. This leads to abuse of power, which leads to religious violence, sometimes in the form of sexual abuse, but most often in the form of spiritual and moral domination of women, laity, children, and other vulnerable or dependent adults. ‘Clericalism is our ugliest perversion,’ Pope Francis told seminarians in 2018.
“The abuse of power within the Roman Catholic hierarchy has caused many who seek God “to stumble” (see Mark 9:42). Not only is the Church’s moral authority to address key social issues undermined, but individual souls seeking a spiritual anchorage are left adrift — or they reject God altogether.”
By Rose Marie Berger, Senior Editor, Sojourners Magazine, on Sojo.net — Read more …
#1 by Paula Ruddy on November 20, 2020 - 2:35 PM
We really have to burrow down and get to the roots of clericalism. Are there any lay people left in the Church who have the energy to address this issue? I know VOTF and the Association of US Catholic Priests have an initiative to address it, but I wonder if depending on priests is effective in addressing clericalism. On the other hand, without priests’ support, laypeople have no entry to the means of doing anything about clericalism. One thing we can do immediately, is stop calling priest “father.” If we all used ordained men’s baptismal names, our concern about the matter may be taken seriously. What do you think?