From Publishers Weekly
The Second Vatican Council initiated a revolution from which the Catholic Church is still reeling. This is the message that Kaiser, a former Jesuit who covered the most recent papal election for Newsweek
, enunciates in this proficient book. Kaiser interviewed an eclectic mix of church hierarchy and Catholic laity working for grassroots change around the world. These profiles, set within the context of the latest papal election, accentuate the discord between those in the church who want change and those who prefer tradition. Kaiser's narrative illustrates that the Catholic Church, once entrenched in an old-world European style, is being flavored with cultural influences from around the globe. He highlights cardinals from Honduras, Nigeria and Indonesia, all of whom approach ecclesiastical authority, and their own exercise of it, very differently. Kaiser is not afraid to argue for change within the structures of the church, astutely noting that "because the Church was human, it was always in need of reform." Kaiser is a master of the Catholic world.. Those interested in the future of the Catholic Church would do well to pay careful attention to Kaiser's work. (Mar. 16)
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“[Some] Catholics have floundered in desperation since Benedict's election, but we finally have our gospel: A Church in Search of Itself
.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Kaiser's brisk narrative is correct: The Catholic Church faces multiple crises. ‘No change’ is not an option. The real question is how the Church will change. Kaiser offers a hint in the closing pages, where he envisions the eventual emergence of a democratic people's Church in the United States.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Argues for a people's church as imagined by Vatican II. Instead of liberals and conservatives, [Kaiser] focuses on those who want change and those against it.” —U.S. Catholic Magazine
“This timely, well-informed, and brilliantly written book shows that all the urgent reforms in the Catholic Church should start with reforming its very center: the Vatican.” —Hans KüngFrom the Trade Paperback edition.