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Flying in the Face of Tradition: Listening to the Lived Experience of the Faithful Paperback – April 1, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In this concise, easily digestible yet thought-provoking 10-chapter book, DeThomasis explores conflict within the Church and the resulting mass exodus of Catholics frustrated with an increasingly unbending hierarchy. There volatile subjects are usually reserved for private conversations, but discussing these matters out loud is now crucial, he says; discussion is, in fact, the Christian thing to do. --The Huffington Post

About the Author

Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, was president and professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota from 1984 to 2005 and is the co-founder and former president of the Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS). He is currently the President of CBIS-GLOBAL based in Rome, where he now resides. He is the authors of many books and articles on Christian education and has received much recognition for his lifetime of service to the Church.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: ACTA Publications (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879464852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879464851
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The most overwhelming feeling I had when I finished this book was that finally, I was not alone. Here was somone who was voicing all I thought and felt about the Church. It was affirming the importance of being a thinking believer not just someone who follows and never questions. De Thomasis writes with an authoritative voice and with a gentleness that seems to say, "No matter what, I will love my church so it will grow." The Church needs to be like DeThomasis and not be afraid to make the changes necessary to be the inclusive Church that is welcoming to all. As Dwight Eisenhower wrote, "May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion." And may we not see this book as an attack but a call to real dialogue toward growth.
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If you are a Catholic who:
*has had a growing lack of confidence in Church leadership, exacerbated by the priest-pedophile scandals and their cover-ups by bishops and cardinals;
*resolved your conscience on birth control and human sexuality long ago, contrary to Vatican teachings;
*finds a dichotomy between the words of Christ's invitation: "Take this and eat, ALL OF YOU" and the mandated communion practice: ("Take this and eat, MEMBERS OF OUR CLUB") and hopes for a more inclusive Eucharist to include divorced/remarried persons;
*would like to see an open discussion of ordination of married persons and women without recriminations from the Vatican;
then this is a book for you.

It's written by a lifelong (70 years) faithful Christian Brother, recipient of a Pontifical Award conferred by Pope John Paul II and honorary degrees from five U. S. colleges. He was president of St. Mary's University in Minnesota for twenty years, and now serves the Christian Brothers organization in Rome. So he's part of the institutional church that he is now challenging to begin operating with a concern for service and justice, and to shed its obsession with secrecy and power.

Brother Louis defines tradition to acknowledge that the Church has inevitably undergone change throughout its 2000-year history, and to mandate a common-sense reading of the times by the people of God. He points out that the Church has been placed in a tumultuous era of change about every 500 years: (the Reformation of 1500s; the Great Schism of the 1000s; and even in 457). We're in this era again. What's emerging is a democratic, questioning, non-hierarchical, Jesus-oriented Christianity.

This change is unstoppable.
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In a time when nearly every conversation about differing viewpoints that could lead to greater understanding and unity instead degenerates into polarizing acrimony, it is refreshing to run across a pithy little book that takes a different path. Brother Louis deThomasis is a Christian Brother whose background and experience - as a educator and president of St. Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota, and now as an investment manager for his international community - place him squarely within the boundaries of whatever establishment one might delineate, be it eccesial, academic or financial. He's hardly out on the fringes of anything, in other words, and his sensible, sober assessment of the current situation within the Catholic Church is hard to dismiss on those grounds, not that people won't try, of course!

Flying in the Face of Tradition, which was just published in the spring of 2012, is a 102-page example of the true definition of humility - meaning that it is written without hyperbole, exaggeration or distortion, but from within a clear foundation of personal experience and expertise. Brother Louis asks questions that cut right to the heart of the problems plaguing the institutional church today, and does so in a quiet, respectful manner that never strays from his aim of reconciliation and unity. He never belittles, attacks, or assumes evil intent, nor does he gloss over, excuse or sidestep into highflown abstraction. Instead, he proposes a set of questions designed "to appeal to common sense and the core values and beliefs within Catholicism" to arrive at "first, an understanding of the present reality of what is going on in the world today; and second, an analysis of how that present reality affects what is going on within the church today.
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By Ann on August 13, 2012
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The author understands my experience of the church. I love God, I follow Jesus, I survive because of the Eucharist. I am ashamed of the institutional church, and wonder how long it can last.
To understand the differences between institutional church and the church of the people is to return to the hope that the Spirit is alive and well.
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I am a Catholic Priest ordained 53 years ago, before the Vatican Council. Flying in the Face of Tradition exemplifies all that we were taught in the seminary, back then, about what tradition really is. It is not an iron clad filing cabinet. The cafeteria Catholics are really those who choose to pass over all that Vatican II has truly taught, judging that bishops and popes of that era are somehow less bishops and popes than those currently or recently on the scene. The author is truly respectful of divers opinions that exist today, yet, it is difficult to deal patiently with those who claim that the earth is flat, man never went to the moon, evolution is a fantasy and all similar denials in the face of concrete evidence. A breath of hope for all of us who are witnessing the attempt to flush down the drain all to which we dedicated ourselves to in our youth.
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