‘Clericalism is the idealisation of the priesthood, and by extension, the idealisation of the Catholic Church. Clericalism is linked to a sense of entitlement, superiority and exclusion, and abuse of power.’ A person suffering from clericalism sees himself as special, superior to others and worthy of greater respect. This could lead to arrogance and the belittling of others. Lay people can also be guilty of clericalism if they support this attitude.
The initial training of pastors (I prefer to use the term ‘pastor’ over ‘priest’ to emphasise the pastoral nature of this role) occurs in segregated ‘clericalist’ environments, which according to the report, are likely to have a detrimental effect on psychosexual maturity of candidates and in turn ‘increased the risk of child sexual abuse.’