Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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The post-conciliar Church is more clerical than it used to be

October 29th, 2011, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

I just read an article from 1995 that apparently is a classic. Hat tip to Dave Armstrong’s facebook page. It is amazingly spot on (especially when reflecting on Rich’s recent departure).

Conservative Bishops, Liberal Results | by James Hitchcock

a fact that has been systematically obscured for three decades — the post-conciliar Church is more clerical than it used to be, not less.

In many ways the clericalism of the pre-conciliar Church was tempered by the very legalism that liberals denounce — priests and bishops had authority that was carefully circumscribed by Canon Law, and they were not free, for the most part, to act capriciously. In the “open”, anti-legalistic Church, however, clergy are often free to impose their own theologies, their own liturgies, their own moralities, their own ecclesiologies, on defenseless parishes, since there is no effective way by which the authenticity of renewal can be judged, nor any effective way by which priests can be made to conform to Church law. The Church is also more clerical now because a large number of lay people have in effect been inducted into the ranks of the clergy, as diocesan or parish bureaucrats.

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One Response to “The post-conciliar Church is more clerical than it used to be”

  1. avatar Bernie says:

    Absolutely right!


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