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Pope renews attack on ‘clericalist attitude’

January 10, 2017

Pope Francis renews his critique of a “clericalist attitude” in a homily at daily Mass on January 10, contrasting the teaching of Jesus with that of the Pharisees.

Jesus taught with real authority, the Pope said, because He taught with humility. “He had an attitude of a servant, and this gave authority.” The Pharisees, on the other hand, “had a psychology of princes.” Jesus was close to the people, and showed his care from them, while the Pharisees “despised the poor people, the ignorant.” The Pope continued:

Those detached people, these doctors, had a clericalist psychology: they taught with a clericalist authority – that’s clericalism.

Finally, the Pope said, Jesus lived in a way that was consistent with his preaching, and the coherence of his life also gave him authority. This, too, was a contrast with the Pharisees, the Holy Father said, noting that Jesus rebuked them as hypocrites.

And it is understood that one who considers himself a prince, who has a clericalist attitude, who is a hypocrite, doesn’t have authority! He speaks the truth, but without authority.

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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jan. 11, 2017 6:20 PM ET USA

    It's pretty obvious to laity which priests exhibit the attitude of feeling entitled by how they treat their parishioners, by their lifestyle,and by their humility.

  • Posted by: Canonigo Regular - Jan. 10, 2017 7:24 PM ET USA

    These many criticisms by the pope of unspecified "clericalist" behavior by unspecified clerics are distressing to thousands if not millions of Catholics around the world, and in my opinion not at all helpful to us faithful. If he would be specific then we might know what in God's name he is talking about.