The Catholic Church must combat clericalism among its ranks by giving authority to a “responsible and reliable” laity, the head of the Vatican’s development dicastery said.

In an article co-written by theology professor Fr. Christian Barone, Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, wrote that the current Synod of Bishops offers a challenge to “incorporate the witness and action of laypeople in the life and mission of the church at all levels.”

The article, published May 18 in the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, takes up the central ideas of a speech he delivered April 21 to the Third Latin American and Caribbean Congress on Catholic Social Teaching held in Bogotá, Colombia. In it, he reflected on the effects of synodality on the development and implementation of Catholic social teaching today.

To develop a more circular model of the church’s hierarchy, the article said, it is “urgent” the church “overcome the hurdle of clericalism,” which in some cases leads to abuse of power and sexual abuse.[…]

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