What is the difference between professionalism and clericalism? It seems to me that in the post-Vatican II Church, professionalism has been thrown out the window in many cases and clericalism is on steroids compared to the pre-Vatican II Church? Am I wrong in thinking this?
In the pre-Vatican II Church, there were many protocols on how bishops related to priests and priest to bishops and these protocols were quite formal. For a priest to go and meet a bishop in casual clothes was unheard of. For priests to have priests' meetings and retreats and wear casual clothes like shorts and the like, simply wouldn't have happened.
And priests related to the laity in a professional way, never casually. There were similar formal protocols and how people and priests were to be dressed, etc.
This is professionalism not clericalism. Professionalism has clearly delineated protocols and courtesies.
Clericalism on the other hand, affords a sort of cult of the personality of the priest or bishop simply because he is a priest or a bishop and automatic trust is given. Priests trusted that their bishops would not take advantage of them and laity felt the same way about priests. So much so, some laity entrusted their sons to priests, allowed them to stay in the rectory over night and to take vacations together. Priests who took advantage of this corrupt trust would be guilty of clericalism.
As well, the fear of Catholics to accuse a priest of wrong doing, especially where wrong doing was
being done or giving him the benefit of the doubt is a form of clericalism too. I am not speaking about appropriate rights and duties assigned to bishops and priests, but the corruption of these.
Since Vatican II, the cult of the personality of the priests seems to have grown. Today, though, it is based upon personality. A good priest is one who you can have a good time with and bad priest is introverted and aloof.
Think of how priests manipulate the Mass and the congregation loves it. Father is so funny, or so smart or so creative or so spiritual, so authentic when he uses his own words and actions rather than what is written for him. He really believes what he is praying because it is his words, not the Church's words he uses. THIS IS CLERICALISM ON STEROIDS.
When bishops did not think they needed to report a priest to law enforcement because the bishop could deal with it on his own and not create scandal and help the priest stay in the priesthood, this is clericalism. If heterosexual priests were given a pass if the abuse was heterosexual that's clericalism. Or if they abused in a homosexual way and the bishop thought homosexuals are mistreated in society and should have special privileges, that is clericalism.
Clericalism is the corruption of professionalism.