//Two Root Causes of Clericalism: A Theological Fallacy and a Formational Deficiency

Two Root Causes of Clericalism: A Theological Fallacy and a Formational Deficiency

We lament, together with Pope Francis, that clerical ambition for power has damaged the whole Church’s authority. For ‘power’ is what mammon offers its slaves whereas ‘authority’ or credibility is a grace that God bestows only on those dedicated to serving the powerless. Even Jesus was tested as to which of the two masters he would serve (Lk. 4:5-8). In turn he exhorted his immediate disciples to opt for service rather than “lording it over others” (Lk. 22:24-27). For they too were embroiled in a power struggle (Mk. 9:34ff)! Peter, too, felt obliged to warn the bishops of his day not to be greedy for power and money (1 Pt. 5:1-3). Since then the history of the Church-leadership has been marred by abuse of power. Pope St Paul VI had put it well: “the Church is holy in its Head (Christ) and sinful in its members. Wherefore ecclesia semper reformanda: the Church must be subject to incessant reform.

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The writer is an Indologist-cum-Theologian and the founder-director of the Tulana Research Centre.