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Stewards of God's Mysteries: Priestly Spirituality in a Changing Church Paperback – April 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Two of the three main authors are dedicated and devote priests, gay oriented scholars, who pool their theological and psychological expertise to build on the remarkable and durable document The Spiritual Renewal of the American Priesthood issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1973.
Skillfully they draw on some the most profound sources of reflection on the priesthood written since that study came out--Ray Brown from a biblical perspective, Philip Murnion and Dean Hoge with sociological insight, numerous pronouncements of the US bishops and recent popes including encyclicals of Paul VI, Evanglii Nuntiandi and John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis
It is written in a form intended to foster discussion and perhaps it succeeded. It has been my experience that just getting priests together to talk about serious personal and spiritual issues can be productive. But the book is self-defeating in three respects. It veers to the "mystagogical dimension of priesthood and celibacy" that is--the unreasonable, unnatural, and excessive. (P.54) Rather than making priesthood and celibacy more understandable, reasonable, and naturally attainable and within the reach of dedicated men, it casts them into the ethereal realm of dream, an area of the mind vulnerable to discouragement and defeat. It perpetuates the myth that priests are "like angels," an attitude inimical to the meaning of practical priestly service and one infectious with clericalism.
They note, "A second strong concern of priests discovered by the research was the extent of loneliness felt by the priests in the survey--most notably among the recently ordained. They feel overshadowed, underprepared, and very much alone." (Pg. 56)
They conclude on the note, "This study is a fresh call to renewal for American priests. Never before has our ministry been more critical or the potential for our effectiveness greater. Serving as a priest---including the acceptance of the comprehensive complex of roles that shape our ministry today---is both difficult and immeasurably rewarding." (Pg. 84)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A thoughtful and insightful presentation on the priesthood in Today's Church.Published 9 months ago by Gerard Mulvey
This was a gift for a priest. It offers ideas for thinking of spirituality at present, and how to think of change.Published on February 19, 2013 by Jo Ann Kramer