Joseph F. O'Callaghan
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2007
Rowman & Littlefield - 195 pages
How does one become a bishop in the Catholic Church? Electing our Bishops: How the Catholic Church Should Choose Its Leaders explains how history, politics, and religious tradition converge to produce the episcopacy. The book gives an historical overview from the earliest times when bishops were elected by the clergy and people of the diocese to the present day where they are normally appointed by the pope. In light of the current clergy sexual abuse scandal, many distinguished theologians, canonists, and church historians have called for greater popular participation in the selection of bishops, and Electing our Bishops discusses ideas for new forms of election that involve both clergy and laity. This book is an important tool for Catholics who want to understand the history and process of the election of bishops as well as how the process might change in the future.
“In early times the bishop was chosen from the community by the clergy and people who knew him just as he knew them.” The author suggests it is time to go back to these early roots that were the tradition of the Church up through the 12th century.
Author: Archbishop John Quinn
Publication date: May 1, 2013
Proposes a return to traditional solutions and structures as an antidote to excessive centralization in the Catholic Church.
With impeccable scholarship, and powerful footnotes, Archbishop Quinn shows that development of new "patriarchies" in the Western Church governed by "a synod of bishops" would in no way detract from papal primacy. He says, quoting Yves Congar, one of the leading theologians at Vatican II and Joseph Ratzinger when he was still a mere priest and theologian, that the present Latin Catholic Church is "increasingly unmanageable as a single patriarchal division." He adds that nothing in the faith or canon law "prevents the establishment of new patriarchal structures in the Latin Catholic Church along the lines of the Eastern Catholic Patriarchal Churches. Creation of such structures could be a way of solving what Joseph Ratzinger called 'extreme centralization.
The Costly Call to Christian Unity
Author: Archbishop John Quinn
A Careful, Considerate, Courageous and Much Needed Critique
Acknowledging that the way the papacy currently functions is an obstacle to Christian unity, John Paul II in 1995 invited suggestions for change, and John Quinn took him at his word. Quinn, former Archbishop of San Francisco, is a man who knows whereof he speaks and a man deeply concerned for the welfare of the Catholic Church.
Author: Hans Kung
Publication date: (October 10, 2013)
The Catholic Church has been nearly destroyed by its resistance to change, censured for its abuses. Pope Francis has promised reform: radical theologian Hans Küng here presents what Catholics have long been yearning for: modern responses to the challenges of a modern world.
In 1962 the Second Vatican Council met in the hope they could, in the words of Pope John XXIII, ‘open the windows of the Church and let some fresh air in.’ Hans Küng and Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, were both there.
In Can We Save the Catholic Church? Kung relates how after fifty years the Church has only grown more conservative. Refusing to open dialogue on celibacy for priests; the role of women in the priesthood; homosexuality; or the use of contraception even to prevent AIDS, the Papacy has lost touch. Now, amid widespread disillusion over child abuse, the future of Catholicism is in crisis.
Pope Francis seems sincere in his wish for a more compassionate Church. The time is ripe for reform, and here Küng calls for a complete renewal of the Church. As grassroots support grows Can We Save the Catholic Church? makes an inspiring and compelling case for offering a new Catholicism to the modern world.
Author: Robert J. Betterton
"Bob Betterton has been a faithful Catholic for 80 years and is unafraid to show that the emperor often has no clothes. While courageously defending the church in a time when it's easier to back away from it than stay within and build it up, his suggestions for change have the authority of one who has studied the issues his whole life and knows what he is talking about. At once autobiographical, theological, and spiritual, Saving the Catholic Church While Sitting in a Pew is a timely book for others who love the church and are interested in preserving what matters most." --Michael Leach, author of Why Stay Catholic? "If all the clerics in America would honestly consider what this book makes so clear, the "future American Church" might stand a chance." --William J. O'Malley SJ, author of The WOW Factor "Objective research, illuminated by imagination, humor and common sense, makes Saving the Catholic Church While Sitting in a Pew a hope-filled treatise for frustrated Catholics. Read it, underline what resonates, then buy a second copy for a friend.
Author: Br. Louis DeThomasis, FSC
ACTA Publications, Chicago, 2012
The current quandary that the Roman Catholic Church finds itself in right now is what Brother Louis DeThomasis calls "a crisis of confidence" in this insightful, provocative, and hopeful new book.
He points to the way of unraveling the quandary by returning the church's historic belief in tradition- "the lived experience of the faithful" - as a source of ongoing revelation and renewal.
This is a wake-up call for the church itself to recognize and embrace globalization, diversity, and democratization and begin to rebuild what DeThomasis calls "koinonia" or "communio".
He uses the issue of the ordination of women as a case study of how the institutional church has fallen out of step with its own members but could work its way back to relevance and effectiveness by listening to them.