Clericalism’s fixation on sexual morality

Clericalism is a direct result of rigidity and linked to a fixation on sexual morality, says Pope Francis.

“One dimension of clericalism is the exclusive moral fixation on the sixth commandment [Thou shalt not commit adultery],” he says.

“We focus on sex and then we do not give weight to social injustice, slander, gossip and lies. The Church today needs a profound conversion in this area.

“Once a Jesuit, a great Jesuit, told me to be careful in giving absolution, because the most serious sins are those that are more angelical: pride, arrogance, dominion…

“And the least serious are those that are less angelical, such as greed and lust.”

Francis says he sees clericalism as having a direct consequence in rigidity.

Young priests “all stiff in black cassocks and hats in the shape of the planet Saturn on their heads” are an outward sign of rigid clericalism, he says.

“Behind all the rigid clericalism there are serious problems.”

The difficulties caused by clericalism have caused Francis to have to intervene in three dioceses recently.

He says the “problems that expressed themselves in these forms of rigidity … concealed moral problems and imbalances.

Where “great shepherds give people a lot of freedom. The good shepherd knows how to lead his flock without enslaving it to rules that deaden people.”

The good shepherd “will go in front of the flock to show the way, stay in the middle of the flock to see what happens within, and also be at the rear of the flock to make sure that no one is left behind,” he says.

“Clericalism, on the other hand, demands that the shepherd always stays ahead, sets a course, and punishes with excommunication those who stray from the flock.”

It is “essentially hypocritical,” he says.


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News category: World.

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