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a political trend aimed at gaining a leading role for the church and clergy in social, political, and cultural life. Clerical and, under certain conditions, theocratic strivings are in essence characteristic of all religious and church organizations of a society marked by class antagonism (Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Protestant, among others). The clergy and influential representatives of the ruling classes that are connected with the church are the proponents of clericalism. Catholic clericalism is one of the most active. Treaties between the Vatican and governments of several states serve as a most important means for securing a strong alliance between the Catholic Church and bourgeois states and for guaranteeing the church’s influence. Until the mid-19th century clericalism expressed primarily the interests of the feudal-aristocratic circles in Western Europe. Even today in the Orient it expresses, for the most part, these interests. In the epoch of imperialism, clericalism has become to a significant extent a tool of monopoly capital, and it bears a clearly expressed anticommunist tendency.

Clericalism employs toward its ends not only the extensive church apparatus but also various clerical organizations, clerical political parties, and trade union, youth, women’s, cultural, and other organizations created with the direct participation of the church. The church and its organizations in the majority of bourgeois countries interfere and exert influence in the political sphere. Many of their spokesmen take the side of the most reactionary forces; in particular, they try to muster support for these reactionary forces through the religious organizations in elections to parliaments and local government posts, exerting pressure on believers. In several bourgeois countries schools are under the influence of the church and Catholic organizations; the religious authority interferes in questions regarding the family, marriage, and upbringing of children (Italy, Spain, Israel, etc).

The world revolutionary process has weakened clericalism. The leadership of clerical organizations, which uses religion for reactionary political ends and in anticommunist propaganda, is encountering growing opposition from many believers, as well as from part of the clergy.


Velikovich, L. N. Religiia i politika v sovremennom kapitalisticheskom obshchestve. Moscow, 1970.
Sheinman, M. M. Sovremennyi klerikalizm. Moscow, 1964.
Maier, H. and P. Stier. Fashizm i politicheskii klerikalizm. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from German.)
Albrecht, E. Antikommunizm—ideologiia klerikal’nogo militarizma. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from German.)
Ellwein, Th. Klerikalismus in der deutschen Politik. Munich, 1955.


References in periodicals archive ?
They get tougher: "As the clericalist mentality sees it, the serious pursuit of sanctity is the business of priests and religious.
Clericalist control and traumatic bonding are the most important aspects of cases of abuse perpetrated by the clergy.
In that context, the abuse of secrecy becomes a typical tool of a clericalist culture.
A Catholic priest, Anton Korosec, the head of the Clericalists, is illustrative of the powerful Catholic political influence between the two world wars.
All the "kyriachialists" -- sexists, racists, classists, clericalists and more -- have to do is come follow us, repent and make restitution.
A series of events divided the country into warring camps, pitching republicans against monarchists, clericalists against secularists, militarists against pacifists, and radicals against reactionaries.
These campaigns have in eluded attacks on the religious neutrality of our public schools, threats to freedom of conscience on reproduction, endless attempts to coerce public sup port for sectarian private schools, efforts by authoritarian clericalists to obtain or retain special recognition by and favors from government, and so forth.
While clericalists and monarchists were ascendant in the early days of the Third Republic--hence the building of Sacre Coeur--the rival claims of the Bonapartists, Orleanists, and Legitimists ensured that the republic survived.
Thus, while they generally opposed the separation of church and state, their resistance wavered in the face of a Catholic resurgence at mid-century and gave way altogether as a result of the increasing Antisemitism of Catholic clericalists at the time of the Dreyfus Affair.
Certainly Collins has good reason to style Hobbes Erastian; but Hobbes-the-Erastian becomes a monomaniacal monster interested in very little besides slaying subversive clericalists of all stripes.
According to Casanova, these clashes hindered the Republic's consolidation, for they opened up a breach between opposed "cultural worlds, between practicing Catholics and hardline clericalists, bosses, and workers, Church and State, order and revolution" (p.