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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW THE CHURCH WAS RENEWED AND RESHAPED IN THE 1960S--NOT TO BE MISSED
This book will provide in-depth understanding for those seeking to grasp the renewal and reshaping of Catholicism in the 1960s and continues, assuming the book is carefully read, of course. I found Mark Massa's account of the life and times of the American Catholic Church to be a page-turner, a book that kept me up late at night. His understanding of the times and his...
Published on December 12, 2010 by G. Robert Stewart

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3.0 out of 5 stars selective and biased, but good info
There is a lot of good information here, but Massa's overall thesis centering on historical consciousness seems to be a reach. It almost works due to the selectivity of events he chooses to cover. But at times it seems simply implausible, e.g. That mainstream Catholics rejected Humanae Vitae because they finally grasped the idea that things change throughout history...
Published 16 days ago by Jeffrey L. Morrow


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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW THE CHURCH WAS RENEWED AND RESHAPED IN THE 1960S--NOT TO BE MISSED, December 12, 2010
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This review is from: The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever (Hardcover)
This book will provide in-depth understanding for those seeking to grasp the renewal and reshaping of Catholicism in the 1960s and continues, assuming the book is carefully read, of course. I found Mark Massa's account of the life and times of the American Catholic Church to be a page-turner, a book that kept me up late at night. His understanding of the times and his writing style bring new life to the cast of characters and the arguments that were leading the way in renewing the church and the study of theology before, during, and after Vatican Council II--as well as an understanding of the mindset that brought conflict. HIs chapters on the Charles Curran Affair and theologian Avery Dulles were worth the price of the book, in my opinion.

His notes are extensive, and he provides an index (a sine qua non for me in providing praise and recommendation for a book). Those of us who lived through the 1960s and kept abreast of the changes by reading periodicals such as National Catholic Reporter, America, and Commonweal, Worship, and diocesan newspapers published by progressive bishops will have their memories refreshed and possibly gain some additional insights; I certainly did. Young Catholics who have no memory of the times or who have a superficial understanding of Vatican Council II and the aftermath of Paul VI's encyclical on birth control (Humanae Vitae) can vicariously experience what their grandparents and parents came to know existentially.

Hope this book is widely read by all Catholics, especially younger Catholics and the many who have have left the Catholic Church (according to the recent Pew study 1 in 10 American who were baptized Catholics are no longer affiliated with the Catholic Church and make up the third largest "religious" group in the U.S.A.,or 10.1% of all Americans--Catholic still affiliated make up 23% of the population followed by Baptists, who make up 10.9%).
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3.0 out of 5 stars selective and biased, but good info, September 4, 2014
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There is a lot of good information here, but Massa's overall thesis centering on historical consciousness seems to be a reach. It almost works due to the selectivity of events he chooses to cover. But at times it seems simply implausible, e.g. That mainstream Catholics rejected Humanae Vitae because they finally grasped the idea that things change throughout history. Massa omits any serious discussion of catholic demographic changes and how they influenced the implementations of Vatican II in the US. And it is not clear if Massa sees this history as centered on the laity or not; much of it deals with clerical concerns, episcopal and magisterial issues, academic theology, etc with generalizations applied to the laity without adequate justification for doing so. The main actors in this history are white priests, from bishops, to theologians (Dulles), to protestors (Frs. Berrigan). Women, like the IHM sisters, have no role other than to illustrate failures of the hierarchy. I still found this fascinating, though I would have preferred more meat and less seasoning.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Post Vaticaan II America, December 21, 2010
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This review is from: The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever (Hardcover)
Father Massa's slim volume is a concise record of what happened in the Catholic Church in America in the 1960's. It is especially good recounting the travails of the Immaculate Heart Sisters in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. His reporting of the saga of the theologian Charles Curran's resistance to the encyclical of Paul VI that outlawed artificial contraception is also helpful.

His attempt to sort out the various theological and philosophical 'problems' with that encyclical ("Humanae Vitae") is less successful. It's as if an undergraduate had innocently waded in to doctoral territory.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a grateful reader, April 4, 2012
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Great read and help in clarifying and surviving these times. If you can understand what is going on you have a better chance of dealing with it. This book goes a long way to helping you understand. Thank you Fr. Massa.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book, May 31, 2013
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This review is from: The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever (Hardcover)
This is exactly what I needed in terms of my research for those times. Especially his unbiased description of the Immaculate Heart Sisters v. Vatican and MacIntryre.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really lousy and boring book, January 27, 2014
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Pete H. (Sedona, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
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I read a couple of chapters of this book and put it down. It's an academic thought piece for the Jesuit academic crowd. A lot of liberal spin and "inside baseball" type stuff. I was learning nothing about the challenges of the Catholic Church in the U.S. over the past several decades. Unless your really into academic minutiae, save your money.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelations Shaping the Transformation, December 4, 2012
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Highly recommended by a friend and deservedly so. A brilliant revelation of the forces, actors and circumstances shaping the revolution of the church.
Tom Dowling
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The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever
The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever by Mark Stephen Massa (Hardcover - September 16, 2010)
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