Priestly Coalition

Richard A. Schoenherr

Edited by David Yamane

in Goodbye Father

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195082593
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780199834952 | DOI:
Priestly Coalition

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This chapter continues the discussion on coalitions in the Catholic Church by describing the conservative or priestly coalition. The strength of the conservative coalition is structurally determined by the centralized papacy, and to bolster its own structurally (hierarchically) based power, the current papacy is closely allied with the Roman curia, certain conservative segments of national hierarchies, and key theologians. In addition, organized lay groups such as Opus Dei, Comunione e Liberazione, and the Knights of Malta play an important role in the papal coalition. Thus, as the new millennium dawns, the papal coalition is dominant, priestly, conservative – and formidable. The chapter exemplifies this power by accounts of the aborted reforms of the Roman curia, the growing pains of the newly established Synod of Bishops, retrenchment in the appointment and promotion of bishops, and constraints on the autonomy of bishops, scholars, lower clergy, and nuns.

Keywords: autonomy; bishops; Catholic Church; clergy; coalitions; conservative coalitions; hierarchical power; nuns; papacy; papal coalition; power; reform; Roman curia; scholars; Synod of Bishops

Chapter.  8064 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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