Donald Cozzens, priest, commentator and author of the award-winning book The Changing Face of the Priesthood discusses specific steps lay persons can take — on a personal level — to help dismantle a culture of clericalism in the church.
Michele Dillon, Ph.D., Professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire and expert in autonomy and authority in the Catholic Church, discusses the hiearchy’s use of euphemization to both downplay the tragedy of the clergy abuse crisis and coverup and to maintain their own power and prohibit women from leadership and ministerial roles.
Katie Grimes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics at Villanova University expands upon her essay on Episcopal Accountability, which appeared in A Pope Francis Lexicon, presenting an overview of how the Church’s language and tradition around priesthood, episcopacy, and servant leadership create a barrier to a culture of accountability. The following question and answer session explores some ways lay Catholics can help to overcome the obstacles.
Canon lawyer, Tom Doyle, offers invaluable insight from his 35 years of experience working for justice for victim-survivors and their families into how canon law upholds a clerical system and culture in the Church, which perpetuates a cycle of abuse and coverup. He discuss which canons in particular lay a foundation for clericalism and argues that the entire church structure — including canon law — must be radically reformed if the violence and abuse of people and power is to stop.
Francine Cardman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry presents an overview of the development of hierarchy and clericalism in the Roman Church, addressing the Church’s evolving understanding of charism, office, ordination, and authority; the influence of sacramental theology; as well as the role of secular political realities. She also takes participant questions. This teleconference was the second in the series “Power to the People: From Clericalism to Collaboration” throughout 2019.
Author and journalist Thomas Reese, SJ provides an overview of the clergy sex abuse crisis, assessing the effectiveness of steps that have already been taken, reflecting on the latest developments, and outlining the challenges and opportunities ahead as we seek to move from a culture of clericalism to a culture of synodality in the Church. Fr. Reese also takes listener questions about the crisis and how lay people hold Church officials — at every level — accountable. This teleconference was the first in the series “Power to the People: From Clericalism to Collaboration” throughout 2019.