clericalism

The advocacy of exaggerated claims on the part of the clergy, especially in matters that lie in the field of the proper jurisdiction of the State. Quite generally, however, it is used as a term of denunciation in the literature of free-thinkers, radicals, and secularists who aim to banish all religious influence from public life, and consequently decry as clericalism the rightful application of moral principles to matters, economic, social, and political. Latin masonry especially loses no opportunity to raise the cry of clericalism in the furtherance of its designs of secularism. Instead it favors laicism, i.e., the activity of the laity to the exclusion of the clergy in every sphere. Gambetta is credited with the slogan: "Clericalisme, voilà Pennemi" (clericalism, that's the enemy).

New Catholic Dictionary

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