Clericalism is real, and really bad stuff. The moral rot at the core of all this has its roots not only the human condition conceived more generally, but also specifically in clericalism. Once priests are treated the way characteristic of clericalism, it is a short next step for them to start thinking the rules that apply to others do not apply to them.

If pervasive, nearly-uncloseted homosexuality in the preisthood were the primary cause of the current crisis, it would not be the true that for hundreds of years there have been institutional cover-ups for clerical sexual abuse. We need to get all sexually active clergy out of ministry, of course, but until we deal with clericalism...the core problem will remain.

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@peepingThomist I don't quite follow, could you reword the first sentence?

@Matthew there are two toots you are responding to. Which sentence are you asking about?

@peepingThomist Yes, I realised that after I wrote. The sentence I didn't understand was: "If pervasive, nearly-uncloseted homosexuality in the preisthood were the primary cause of the current crisis, it would not be the true that for hundreds of years there have been institutional cover-ups for clerical sexual abuse."

@Matthew that's what I figured, so I tried to respond to that. I'm off to Mass. Have a great day!

@peepingThomist @Matthew I think the knee jerk reaction against the use of the term "clericalism" is that it has been applied by the Pope and his advisors to describe orthodox bishops. So when people hear the Pope decry clericalism, they hear him decrying orthodoxy.

Add to that the fact that the bishops implicated in this mess are not from the group that Pope Francis labels clerical, but rather the ones he supports, and you can understand the resistance to his use of the term.

@mikel @Matthew

Clericalism cuts across the "liberal" / "orthodox" divide. The crucial thing is whether a culture encourages all Christians to respond fully to the universal call to holiness, or instead treats some people as called to holiness more than others are. That leads the "elect" to think they are in some ways exempt from laws that apply to the mass of humanity.

@Matthew There have been cover-ups for sex abuse for centuries. Pervasive, nearly-uncloseted homosexuality is very recent. If pervasive, nearly-uncloseted homosexuality were the real source of the problem, the cover-up problem would also be very recent. But the cover-ups are not recent. Therefore, the rampant, nearly-open gay subculture is not the primary source of the cover-up problem. Clericalism, which is very old, is the root cause.

@peepingThomist I see what you mean. Would you still say though, that homosexuality is part of the problem, irrespective of the qualifiers of it being "pervasive [and] nearly un-closeted"?

@Matthew Definitely. Don’t know why there are people who don’t see that. But there was bad abuse long before nearly openly gay clergy became a thing

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