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Receiving the Council: Theological and Canonical Insights and Debates Paperback – November 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Orsy is one of the foremost authorities on canon law. He combines a great mind with a great heart and great faith to humanize a topic that by all rights should bore us to tears. This is an amazing book, even if you have no familiarity with canon law. You’ll never look at Vatican II the same way again.
Ken Trainor, U.S. Catholic blog, The Examined Life


This book may not present what is normally expected from canon lawyers. But it makes clear that the work and vocation of canon lawyers are not restricted to making scholarly commentaries on church law, but also includes raising a prophetic voice in relation to the future of the church.
Bijdragen: International Journal of Philosophy and Theology


An ideal way for the upcoming generation of ecclesiologists and canonists to show its appreciation for this scholar would be to imitate his courage and dedication.
Worship


As the title suggests, Orsy offers readers a penetrating analysis of the debates surrounding the reception and implementation of Vatican II. This is a work that will be of great benefit to all in the field of theology.
Catholic Studies


There is a great deal in this short book to ponder. I have said nothing, for example, about his fascinating remarks on the concept of ‘laity’. It is not always easy going, but it ought to be read. Among many liberal Catholics, canon law, and by extension canon law lawyers, do not have a good reputation. This is a book which will change their minds.
The Tablet


. . . the outstanding value of Orsy’s book is in the rich theological and human landscape within the Orsy writes.
The Furrow


In adopting a positive role of the Holy Spirit working to influence organic developments within the Church, Orsy articulates an ecclesiology that is at once theologically sophisticated an pneumatologically grounded, optimistic without being naïve, and unifying without turning a blind eye to the work ahead, particularly in the field of ecumenism.
Living Church

About the Author

Ladislas Orsy, SJ, is a professor of law at Georgetown University, where he teaches Roman Law, History of Philosophy of Law, and Canon Law. During the council he was professor of canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome, then taught theology at Fordham University and canon law at The Catholic University of America. He is the author of Theology and Canon Law as well as eight other books and more than 200 articles. The main intent of his writings is to keep the spirit of the council alive.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Glazier (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814653774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814653777
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By paul lakeland on November 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ladislas Orsy is one of the grand old men of the Vatican II Church, and as both a canon lawyer and a theologian he has trenchant and loving words to say about a number of facets of today's Roman Catholic Church. This book is a delight in its wisdom and humanity and it suggests a way beyond pointless wrangling between ideological liberals and conservatives. Orsy knows better than most that while you are entitled to your own opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts. For more detail see my full review in America magazine at [...]
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Follman on January 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to understand why it's theologically and morally indefensible for the church to maintain it's current highly centalized and authoritarian organizational structure, this is the book for you. It describes specific actions taken by the popes and the Roman Curia since the end of the Vatican Council and how these actions have moved the Church in the opposite direction of where it needs to go if it is to really understand and implement (or as Orsy says, receive) the Council.

He talks about the theological understanding of the Church as a communion and how operationally everything should flow from that. He explains how the current structure of episcopal conferences compromises the proper communion of bishops (and why this goes against tradition and is theologically untenable). He explains how a recent canon law excludes the laity from governance of the church (and why this goes against tradition and is theologically untenable), how canon law should be received and the underlying theology of this reception, and how development of canon law has been paralyzed since the Council (and why this goes against tradition and is theologically untenable). He addresses the issue of the administration of justice in the church by setting Church justice side by side with secular legal wisdom and showing how short it falls in comparison. He then takes apart "definitive doctrine," a new category of doctrine created by John Paul II which is not "infallible" but which nevertheless is "irreformable" (i.e., can't be changed) - a logical inconsistency on the face of it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Damian Barta on June 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Fr. Ladislas Orsy was present at Vatican II and now has written this wonderful book in defense of the teachings of that most important church gathering. His book is written elegantly, imbued with the Spirit, full of anecdotal reference and accurately presents the heart of the current differing currents within the church. He argues that the spirit of Vatican II remains a source of inspiration today and offers some insights on how that spirit can be made manifest.
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