Carbon Monoxide Clericalism
Invisible, odorless, and deadly, carbon monoxide clericalism is less a power-trip than a survival mechanism that proves counter-productive. Simply describing it is the first step toward prevention or cure. Then let us all pray for a serious intervention of the Holy Spirit, for without the reform of the priesthood, it is difficult, if not impossible, to renew the Church.
Different manifestations of clericalism have appeared in the course of Church history, and we may have personally experienced various forms in parish settings. It has often been said, in the pre-Vatican II mind-set, that the “Church” meant priests and nuns, while the laity were considered