Experiences of Clericalism and its impact on Church Participation

The following survey has been put together by lay Catholic Beth Doherty, in order to research how clericalism in the Australian Church impacts participation in the church. It is hoped that some kind of report will come out of this study. See below for some more information about what clericalism is.


Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has targeted clericalism as an illness in the Church, an ailment that pretends “the Church” means “priests and bishops,” that ignores or minimizes the God-given grace and talents of laypeople and that emphasizes the authority of clerics over their obligation of service. (Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service.)

For Catholics, clericalism usually refers to a kind of dominance of laity by clergy outside of their rightful spiritual authority. Pope Francis often speaks of this form of clericalism, in the way that clergy behave either in their regular daily pastoral work or in the political sphere. (Fr Mark A Pilon, The Catholic Thing.)

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