Pope Benedict proposed the hermeneutic of continuity while Pope Francis seems to impose His Holiness' vision for the Church, who embodies clericalism which leads to Catholics disengaging from their Catholic identity?
Crux has an article on yet another book length interview with Pope Francis. What caught my eye is this:
As ever, (Pope Francis) attributes the Church’s failures (in South America) to its distance. The rise of evangelicalism and Pentecostalism, for example, is put down to the Church not being “close to the people. People look for God in a religious way, and want closeness …. The priest is not and cannot be the boss, but a shepherd.”
It appears to me from anecdotal evidence that Catholics, wherever they may be, cease to be Catholic or become something else because of the loss of Catholic identity that is a direct result of interpreting Vatican II in rupture with what preceded this council.
Then we have to contend with the clericalism of the "spirit" of Vatican II which to a certain degree Pope Francis embodies. He speaks of clericalism as the priest being the "boss" and not a shepherd, yet Pope Francis is the most authoritarian pope we have seen since Vatican II. Spirit of Vatican II clergy, be they bishops, laity or theologians implement their vision of the spirit of Vatican II Church in the most pre-Vatican II authoritatian way.
I can't speak for South America, but only what I saw in my diocese and in Baltimore when I was in the seminary in the 1970's.
When parish councils were being developed, new forms of power plays began to develop and what I call "laityism." Pastors had to manipulate parish councils to get their way (much as Pope Francis manipulated the two synods on the family to get his way) and this creates resentments and disengagement from the Church from those who feel that conciliar processes are really a sham and creates more politics in the parish than what is needed.
I can speak from personal experience in Albany, Georgia when St. Teresa's parish priests decided to renovate its 1950's era church building according to what Vatican II dictated what Catholics churches should look like in light of the new Liturgy. Of course Vatican II made no such pronouncements on removing altar railings, and ripping out altars and a return to the heresy of iconoclasm. Bishops' conferences issued weak letters that clericalism interpreted and implemented as though it was a Vatican II inflatable document!
This meant that altar railings. and duplicate altars had to be removed, the choir had to be placed next to the altar and confrontational to the congregation and that there had to be seating on all sides of a new smaller, lower and supposedly more accessible central altar. The tabernacle had to be out of sight less someone have a devotional prayer to the reserved Blessed Sacrament during Mass. And statues had to be out of sight during the liturgy less dumb Catholics say devotional prayers to the various saints represented by those visible statues.
The liberal liturgical consultants the pastor hired also wanted to remove a life size crucifix from the wall that once hung over the old pre-Vatican II altar because Vatican II taught that we should focus on the Risen Lord not the crucified Lord during the "meal " of the new liturgy. I insisted that it remain and my clericalism prevailed in this regard! The compromise was a Processional cross that was like a Jerusalem Cross made of gold and without the Body of the Crucified Lord upon it--it was empty!
Clericalism in the post Vatican II Church humiliated the laity in their personal piety, praying the Rosary, offering novenas and privately praying before the Blessed Sacrament which this type of clericalism called "Caninite Cookie Worship" which only developed in the Middle Ages when the laity stopped receiving Holy Communion regularly and preferred staring at the Host.
The laity's very Catholic popular devotions which kept them close to the Lord's Church and made their personal relationship wth the Lord very deep was mocked and denigrated by this type of clericalism. The desire to kneel for Communion, to receive on the tongue were also mocked and these Catholics marginalized.
Many of these traditional Catholics turned to non Catholic spirituality of. Protestantism and Pentecostalism to fill in the void and the Charismatic Movement developed as well. All of these distanced Catholics from their Catholic identity.
Yes it is clericalism that is the culprit but not the pre-Vatican II type but the post Vatican II type where priests became interior decorators of their revamped sanctuaries and impose their clericalism on the Mass and on the people.