But the opposite is actually happening as the bishops close more and more of their sessions to the media. There is still a "circle the wagons" mentality. Put it down, at least in part, to the on-going problem of clericalism in the Church which, as Shaw says, is "something like the pattern in the wallpaper: it's been there so long you don't see it any more". Shaw defines clericalism as:
an elitist mindset, together with structures and patterns of behavior corresponding to it, that takes it for granted that clerics -- in the Catholic context, mainly bishops and priests -- are intrinsically superior to the other members of the Chruch and dexerve automatic deference. Passivity and dependency are the laity's lot. By no means is clericalism confined to clerics themselves. The clericalist mindset is widely shared by Catholic lay people.The bishops' trust index with the people is so low at this point that one ponders who the average Joe in the marketplace, not to mention the average Jane in the pew, is likely to believe when he or she sees the bishops "at odds" with a news agency or anybody else for that matter? My money, sad to say, is not on the bishops.