Vatican City, Apr 26, 2016 / 15:04 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis issued strong words to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, calling clericalism “one of the greatest distortions” facing the local Church.
“(W)e’d do well to recall that the Church is not an elite priests, of consecrated people, of bishops but all of us make up the faithful and Holy People of God,” he said in an April 26 letter, recalling that everyone starts out their life as laity, Vatican Radio reported.
His letter was addressed to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America as a follow-up to commission’s recent Plenary Assembly focused on the role of the laity.
The Holy Father said that clericalism seems to be the result of “a mistaken way of living out the ecclesiology proposed by the Second Vatican Council,” calling it, “one of the greatest distortions of the Church in Latin America.”
Clericalism, he said has proved to have a wide-ranging impact on the Church and seems to disregard the grace of the Holy Spirit bestowed on each Christian at baptism. It “forgets that the visibility and the sacramentality of the Church belong to all the people of God and not just to an illuminated and elected few.”