Mind the Gap

The Return of the Lay-Clerical Divide

Recent studies point to a growing gap between the way American Catholic laypeople and priests understand their roles in the church. What is the nature of this divergence, and why has it developed?

In the years before Vatican II, most laypeople understood their role as a rather passive one and tended to hold a “cultic” view of the clergy-that is, they viewed priests as a leadership group set apart both spiritually and in terms of...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Topics: 

Share

About the Author

The late Dean R. Hoge was professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America.