Father Gilbert is a fierce critic of what Pope Francis has described as the "evil of clericalism." As an Augustinian friar, his loathing towards this cancer that is gnawing at the very foundations of the Roman Catholic Church is informed by his own personal experiences. He has sadly observed how some people have entered religious life to leave the world not to seek God but rather to pursue money, power and glory. In one of his homilies, the Pope minced no words how this evil has victimized the very people the Church is supposed to serve.
According to Vatican Radio, the Pope has this to say about clericalism, which is practiced by some priests and nuns, most especially by their superiors:
“A humble people, discarded and beaten by these people.” Even today, the Pope observed, this sometimes happens in the Church. “There is that spirit of clericalism,” he explained: “Clerics feel they are superior, they are far from the people”; they have no time to hear the poor, the suffering, prisoners, the sick”:
The evil of clericalism is a very ugly thing! It is a new edition of these people. And the victim is the same: the poor and humble people that awaits the Lord. The Father has always sought to be close to us: He sent His Son. We are waiting, waiting in joyful expectation, exulting. But the Son didn’t join the game of these people: The Son went with the sick, the poor, the discarded, the publicans, the sinners – and that is scandalous – the prostitutes. Today, too, Jesus says to all of us, and even to those who are seduced by clericalism: “The sinners and the prostitutes will go before you into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Learn more about the Pope's campaign against clericalism:
• The new pope's real target: clericalism
• Pope blasts clericalism, says clock has stopped on 'hour of laity'
Photo courtesy: The Holy See.
Poetry against the evil of clericalism
As his small contribution to stamp out the evil of clericalism within the Church, Father Gilbert has channeled his creative talents as a poet and novelist to expose and excise this cancer. Some of his most scathing poetic lines are reserved for poseurs within the Church, who use their positions as religious superiors to oppress their subordinates and to misuse Church funds by doing nothing but to spend the money of their religious communities traveling the world instead of ministering to the people of God.
The poem below is representative of his scorn towards the practitioners of clericalism. To view his additional writings on this matter, click here.
Rubrics and runes
The sermon you preach cannot be heard,
Garbled and mocked by the desert wind.
The cacti do not care to listen;
They have no ears, so they cannot hear.
The love you talk about is empty;
The brotherhood you mouth is phony.
For you to preach justice is foolish.
How can you when you do not practice it?
The truth is, you are a walking lie;
For you to speak of truth is falsehood.
You lead a double life, that makes you
Portrait of monkish duplicity.
(When cassocked perverts
Robbed me of my dignity,
I turned to the Lord.
I did not send them to jail.
My silence bottled them up.)
Rúbricas y runas
El sermón que predicas no se puede oír,
mutilado y burlado por el viento del desierto.
Los cactus no quieren escuchar;
no tienen oídos, así que no pueden oír
El amor del que hablas está vacío;
la hermandad que brindas es falsa.
Dar lecciones de justicia es una patraña.
¿Cómo puedes hacerlo cuando no la practicas?
La verdad es que eres una mentira que camina;
porque hablas de la verdad y es mentira.
Llevas una doble vida, eso haces tú.
Un monstruo de depravación monacal.
(Cuando los perversos me robaron mi dignidad,
me volví hacia el Señor. No los envié a la cárcel.
Mi silencio los encerró,
como a un genio en la botella.)