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Crisis of Confidence in the Catholic Church

Crisis of Confidence in the Catholic Church

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Paperback / softback

£28.99

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9780567464255
Number of Pages: 320
Published: 31/07/2014
Width: 13.8 cm
Height: 21.6 cm
The Catholic Church in the United States and Europe has seen declining numbers both in regular attendance and in clergy and religious life.Scandals have torn at people's allegiance, and feelings of disappointment, disillusion, and anger have become widespread. Church authorities have seemed reluctant to acknowledge or address these problems and have responded with vexation to those who raise them from the Right or Left. The Crisis of Confidence in the Catholic Church examines the roots of this crisis in light of the nature of the Church community, its institutional structure, and the historical experiences that have brought it to this pass. Raymond Helmick, SJ, traces the problems of the Catholic Church far back in its history - concentration of Church leadership on control of the Christian population, a requirement of obedience to their rulings rather than on the Gospel values of Jesus, the defensiveness and self-righteousness in the face of any criticism. Helmick also emphasizes the role of the Second Vatican Council as it brought the Church to an awareness of its potentiality for an active life of faith by its total membership. How will the Church revive? Helmick believes that a new growth of Christianity can come now only by a return to the love and care of its original premises, to the things that are redolent of the life of Jesus. The 'new evangelization' can only be done by living a Christian life, giving an example.

Father Raymond G. Helmick SJ

Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., is Instructor in Conflict Resolution at the Department of Theology, Boston College, USA.

Helmick takes an in-depth look at the major crises, failures, and missed opportunities that have plagued Roman Catholicism ... The author's grasp of church history is impressive, ranging from the East-West split to the events of today ... He argues that the Catholic Church suffers from an excessive amount of clericalism and a sense of privilege. Through this lens, Helmick explores how it has failed repeatedly to respond to serious issues such as church decline and the sex abuse of children ... This title is not the work of someone with an agenda against the Catholic Church. Instead, it is a well-researched book that seeks to correct many of the Church's historical shortcomings. Overall, this volume is suitable for both teachers and students seeking to learn more about Catholic Church history. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty. -- J. L. Best, St. Thomas University * CHOICE * Raymond G. Helmick provides a well-balanced and historically informed account of how the current crisis of confidence in the Catholic Church has arisen. * Theology Journal * Pope Francis is calling for a church that is honest about its failings, faithful to the liberating vision of Vatican II and filled with hope in the promise of the Spirit. The pope could find no more eloquent and insightful champion than Fr. Raymond Helmick. This remarkable book offers a wise balance between discerning church critique and practical proposals for a more healthy church. Helmick brings tremendous erudition and pastoral sensitivity to his analysis of the Catholic church's post-conciliar "crisis of confidence." Although unflinching in his critique, Helmick sustains the voice of someone who loves the church too much to give up on it. And neither should we. * Richard R. Gaillardetz, Boston College, USA * With a broad sweep of the pen Father Helmick delves into the deep roots and analyses the present manifestations of the crisis today in the Catholic church. Vatican Council II is the centrepiece of his study. I recommend this accessible book for all those interested in how we got to where we are. * John o'Malley, Georgetown University, USA * This timely book is a prolegomenon to the papacy of Pope Francis. Father Helmick honestly and faithfully describes the history of the church and the crisis which Pope Francis is addressing through his lifestyle, his words and his compassionate spirit. This book has lessons for all Christians in how to be the Church in the 21st Century, collegial, true to its essentials and roots in the 1st century, and understanding itself as all the People of God. * Tom Porter, Boston University School of Theology, USA * This masterful work is essential reading for those who want to understand the Catholic Church today and to think critically and hopefully about its future. * Worship *

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