Clericalism criticised by future Pope Francis

Clericalism and worldly priests are criticised by the future Pope Francis in a book of conversations he had with an Argentine rabbi in 2010.

The dialogue between Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka has just been published in English by Image Books, with the title On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century.

“When a priest leads a diocese or a parish, he has to listen to his community, to make mature decisions and lead the community accordingly,” the future Pope said.

“In contrast, when the priest imposes himself, when in some way he says, ‘I am the boss here’, he falls into clericalism.”

On worldly priests, he said: “One Catholic theologian, Henri de Lubac, says that the worst that can happen to those that are anointed and called to service is that they live with the criteria of the world instead of the criteria that the Lord commands from the tablets of the law and the Gospel. The worst that can happen in the priestly life is to be worldly, to be a ‘light’ bishop or a ‘light’ priest.”

Other comments from the future Pope Francis include:

On the Devil: “Maybe his [the Devil’s] greatest achievement in these times has been to make us believe that he does not exist, and that all can be fixed on a purely human level…. Man’s life on Earth is warfare; Job says it, meaning that people are constantly put to the test; that is to say, a test to overcome a situation and overcome oneself.”

On opening the Vatican’s World War II-era archives relating to Pope Pius XII: “They should open them and clarify everything. Then it can be seen if they could have done something, to what extent it could have been done, and if we were wrong in something we will be able to say: ‘We were wrong in this.’ We do not have to be afraid of that. The objective has to be the truth.”



National Catholic Reporter

Image Books

Image: TPM Livewire

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