Download American Catholicism: And Now Where? by John G. Deedy PDF

By John G. Deedy

THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC church is a extraordinary institu­ tion. Its humans worship in numbers that dwarf figures from in other places. It has probably the most brilliant of Cath­ olic tuition structures, possibly the main bright. it really is in general an obedient church, a few could say docile­ controversies of contemporary years though. it's a church characterised through nice loyalty to the pope and via unstinting monetary generosity to Rome. nonetheless, the Ameri­ can church is a church in transition. there was ero­ sion in components of church lifestyles. but extra is probably going. The vii viii PREFACE American Catholic church, in sum, is a ready-made sub­ ject for research and learn. while this ebook undertaking on American Catholicism was once first broached, no specific time urgency concerned. in recent times, nuns and clergymen had ex­ ited the spiritual existence by means of the millions, and their ranks weren't being refilled. Many seminaries and convents have been closed for loss of desire, then offered off to satisfy the monetary imperatives of the respective spiritual com­ munities. The management of Catholic hospitals in numerous towns have been became over to put forums, and some Catholic schools had close their gates. a couple of Catholic courses had disappeared from view, and in lots of Catholic parishes, focuses shifted, frequently to ac­ tivities of apostolic inconsequence, as emphases tired clear of diocesan colleges, very a lot of which had closed for good.

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In 1965, for instance, a Catholic parish without a resident priest was virtually unheard of, except for remote rural areas or mountain districts, where Catholics were not very numerous anyway. 5 percent increase over the previous year, and a 20 percent increase over two years before. There just plain are not enough priests to go around. When one factors in the astonishing fall-off in the number of seminarians-38,552 in two decades-it is apparent that the American church is plunging headlong toward a clergy crisis.

To some, the directive seemed an imperious intrusion on Rome's part into the American political process, a charge that church spokesmen countered, saying the action had been taken within ecclesiastical prerogatives and according to the letter of canon law (specifically Canon 139, paragraph 4, of the code then on the books), which could be construed as limiting priestly election to political office. There was a second priest involved in the 1980 controversy, a Norbertine priest in Wisconsin who had served in Congress, had lost his seat, and was seeking to regain it.

But the ''reactionary elements'' of his ecclesiastical jurisdiction had a whole second agenda of complaints based on what they claimed were Hunthausen' s policies relating to sexual morality and other concerns of an ecclesiastical kind. The investigation proceeded under Archbishop James A. , Rome's apostolic visitor, 34 CHAPTER 1 and the findings were forwarded to Rome. ' ' 26 The story could have ended there, but of course it didn't. The admonishing of Hunthausen was made public 29 November 1985 by the papal pronuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pio Laghi.

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