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Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church Paperback – February 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Pr; First Edition edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814627315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814627310
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,069,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Donald Cozzens thoughtfully and courageously explores the underpinnings of the current and continuing crisis of the abuse of power riddling the Catholic Church. The issues are explored with stark clarity and genuine sensitivity. His book paves a path to authentic honest dialogue, which is the only way that will lead to personal, social, and ecclesial transformation." -- The Catholic Journalist. "If the Catholic Church is to regain the credibility it has lost through recent scandals, the two subject of authority and sex are in need of truly serious and painfully honest attention. Donald Cozzens asks many of the questions of authority and sex are in need of truly serious and painfully honest attention. Donald Cozzens asks many of the questions that must be faced in confronting these two issues." -- Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Chairman of Australian Bishops Committee for Professional Standards.

About the Author

Donald Cozzens is a priest and writer who teaches religious studies at John carroll University. He is author of the award-winning and best-selling The Changing Face of the Priesthood and the editor of The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest both published by Liturgical Press.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By paul lakeland on October 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Cozzens' book is particularly important because it uncovers the extent to which clerical culture in the Catholic Church is engaged in systematic denial of its weaknesses, and almost unique because Cozzens himself is a cleric and a former rector of a seminary, so he knows whereof he speaks. And, I imagine, is paying a certain price for his willingness to bring a few skeletons out of the closet. His approach is pragmatic, not ideological, and he can be accused neither of being a disaffected liberal nor a disgruntled ex-priest. Pay attention to what he says!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Duane G Roy on January 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church

Although "Sacred Silence" was written in 2002 its topic about ministry in the Catholic Church is still a pivotal concern. Over the centuries some ministers (popes, bishops, priests, religious and laypersons) have practiced silence, lack of openness and most importantly, denial about aspects of their ministry to maintain the image of the Catholic Church free of scandal, criticism, strife, and other negative aspects.

In this book, Father Donald Cozzens analyzes aspects of ministry in the 21st century Catholic Church in the United States. Formation of priests, selection of bishops, exclusion of women, as well as homosexual and heterosexual ministers, sexual abuse of minors by priests, shortage of priests and weak leadership in the church are some issues the author indicates needing open dialog.

With sociological data and opinions from a wide spectrum of current authors - both lay and clerical - Cozzens presents problematic issues. The American Catholic family presently rears 1.85 children. This is not an encouraging source of future priests, or for the men and women religious the Catholic Church will need for ministry in its growing parish communities. Over 50% of priests today minister to two or more parishes. This is a worldwide situation. Priests are getting older and fewer. Women wishing to partake in decision-making processes and ministries are routinely irritated when excluded and not valued for their competency, and are subjected to the use of sexist language.
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Format: Paperback
Donald Cozzens is a pastoral psychologist, and president-rector of St. Mary's Seminary of the Diocese of Cleveland. He has written other books such as The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul, Freeing Celibacy, The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest, and Faith That Dares To Speak.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 2002 book, "The abuse scandals of the past twenty years or so have served as the 'tipping point' for a new era of Catholic life... The thesis of 'Sacred Silence' is that our first challenge is to break through the wall of denial and silence guarding the present ecclesial order. I argue in the pages ahead that we are in need of a brave, 'redemptive honesty' if we are to move in the direction of a healthier, holier church... For too long now, an unholy silence and an unhealthy denial have held sway. Catholics now see this and ... are ready to assume their rightful responsibility, in partnership with their ordained brothers, to serve the church they love... 'Sacred Silence' extends an invitation: Let the conversation begin."

He notes, "We do ask God to 'send us more vocations.' The prayer unnerves me. God really isn't holding out on us. We do ask parents, priests, brothers, and sisters to more actively recruit potential candidates for religious life and the priesthood.
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