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A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America Hardcover – Jul 29 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 29 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684836637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684836638
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.3 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #972,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
NOT everything surrounding Cardinal Bernardin's funeral in November 1996 testified to the vitality of American Catholicism. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Format: Hardcover
It speaks not well when a book of this sort is written about an institution which is apparently getting the comeuppance it has long deserved. The filth of the Medici's, the horrific Inquisition, the Croatian clergy's treatmetn of World War II Jews, the severance from a liturgy that none of the faithful asked be severed, the iron fisted treatment of dissidents, and now the ultimate: gross, scalding, retromingent pederasty by those "discerned" to be proper candidates for Melchisidech's role-- the "alter Christus".
We now know the Church has no power of discnerning who should and should not be a priest. Its slection process is a gamble, a hit-and-miss pick where many who were refused entrance to Orders never should have been refused as perverts and miscreants were given the charism of sacrifice and granted entrance into Orders. The religious superiors who refused worthy men of Orders should, as in days of old, don sackcloth and ashes begging Providence's forgivness and the forgiveness of those it abused in rejecting them entry to a calling they felt was genuine and time has shown could very well have been.
The Roman Catholic clergy is in many instances mendacious. Its "Pope" seeks a "go along to get along" rapprochement with other religions as he dilutes the core message of Christ which was quite simple: "No one can come to the Father save through Me." Pontiff Woytyla does not accept that tenet. All religions for his encyclical "Ut unum sint" have "a piece of the pie, a piece of the action." No one need be baptized any more for salvation, for indeed Catholicism, according to Pope Woytyla, is not necesseary for salvation.
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By A Customer on Nov. 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Steinfels, formerly editor of Commonweal, draws on his years of reporting for the New York Times in offering his overview of the Catholic situation in America. A self-described liberal, he speaks chiefly to other liberals about what he views as the failures and successes of changes since the Second Vatican Council. Alternative accounts are, regrettably, ignored or derided but nowhere engaged. Steinfels' emphasis is on the institutional and sociological, "rather than," as he puts it, "the profoundly spiritual or theological." A chapter is given to the recent scandals, but he believes the deeper "crisis" of his subtitle is occasioned by the Church's failure to respond adequately to the demands of women, the reality of contraception, the acceptance of homosexuals, and related changes in the culture. He urges what he calls the "American Catholic Church" to be more independent from Rome, and asserts that the Magisterium is teaching falsely about, inter alia, the ordination of women to the priesthood, which he believes will happen "ultimately" but should be implemented cautiously. On the renewal of episcopal leadership, Mr. Steinfels' favored models are the outspokenly liberal Kenneth Untener of Michigan, the now disgraced Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, and, above all, the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago. Like embattled socialists who contend that true socialism has yet to be tried, Mr. Steinfels surveys the damages wrought by liberal interpretations of the Council over nearly four decades and recommends as a solution his somewhat tempered version of the same.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This is a surprisingly broad survey of the state of the Catholic Church in the United States which avoids focus on hot button moral or divisive doctrinal issues to instead examine nearly every major facet of Catholic corporate life. At first, I found this a little disappointing because I expected a dominant focus on matters of leadership and institutional structure. But upon getting deeper into the author's project, I was gratified by the breadth of perspective because it showed how widespread is the Catholic presence in American society, and in turn, how thoroughly Catholicism is affected and challenged by that society.
Steinfels begins with an account of the last years of Cardinal Bernardin in Chicago and his efforts to establish a dialogue between different wings of church opinion on fundamental issues defining the future of the church. The effort was called the "Common Ground Initiative." It was publicly criticized by several of Bernardin's cardinal colleagues on the basis that there could be no real dialogue, implying compromise, on church teaching in key areas identified by Bernardin.
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