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Clericalism: The Death of Priesthood Paperback – January 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Instructive, challenging and even moving in its depth of insight and hope.
EqualwRites


Fr. Wilson has done a valuable service for us in writing this book and I recommend it highly to pastors, religious and laity alike. Wilson brings not only an extensive experience in organizational systems, but also brings wisdom and pastoral sensitivity that make this book one that your will come back to.
Celebrate!


In this beautifully written and insightful book, Father Wilson explores the clerical culture that has led to, among other things, the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and what we might all do to bring about a healthy transformation in the Church.
Catholic Digest


. . . insightful and practical. I continue to reflect on his definitions and strategies for conversion. He set out to help us rethink our understandings and usage of the common terms that describe our ministers. He succeeded.
Seattle Theology and Ministry Review


I cannot recommend this book too highly to the widest possible readership for the rejuvenation of all of us who, like it or not, are involved by our baptism in the priesthood of Christ.
The Way


This is a book that should be read and discussed by Catholics in the pews, priests, and those who aspire to be priests.
Catholic Books Review


If Wilson’s work reminds us that there is no cheap grace, no casual way to overcome the deleterious effects of clerical culture, it reminds us also that there is grace, that there is hope. The grace and hope are gifts, but the appropriation of them is a project, a project for us all. In identifying the need for, the possibility of, and the steps to such an appropriation, George Wilson’s book offers a significant service not simply to the church’s ordained priesthood, but to the mission of the church in the world.
The Australasian Catholic Record


This very readable book offers much food for thought and discussion especially for mixed groups of ordained and laypersons who need to work in tandem if cultural transformation is to take place.
Prairie Messenger

About the Author

George B. Wilson, SJ, is an ecclesiologist and organizational facilitator. His other books are Blessing Prayers and Church Leadership: Training in the Ethical Use of Power (Treehaus Communications) and Patches (www.longdash.com). His articles can be accessed at www.gbwilson.homestead.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814629458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814629451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,341,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book gives an insightful and helpful description of clericalism of all kinds -- of the ordained, of medical professionals, of folks in any kind of profession or guild. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about the health of ANY church community. As an Episcopalian, I recognize that some of the specifics will not ring true to Protestants or Anglicans; but we can plug in our own denomination's expectations and polities and learn valuable lessons.

One thing is clear; though the scandals in the Roman church may be the example used, the main point of the book is not about 'the sex scandals.' Clericalism is a deformation of the Gospel, one for which all members of the body of Christ are responsible. All members are also responsible for reformation and renewal of the Gospel imperative to the radical equality and responsibility of all to be priest to one another. Gifts and functions and calls do differ, but the gospel dictum that we are all to serve one another and value each other without distinction transcends all roles.
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Format: Paperback
Clericalism:The Death of Priesthood is the book that Catholics need to read. The Pope comes to America and says "I am deeply ashamed of the sex scandal": now what? George Wilson shows what the next step has to be. There is no point in thinking that the bishops or the priests can 'make everything right' it is up to everyone to take the necessary steps to bring the Church into the 21 Century... the changes have to start with you and me. He makes it feel like an exciting and do-able process.
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This short (152 page) book explores the role of "clericalism" in the recent sex abuse scandals of the Catholic Church. Clericalism is presented as a part of the culture of our present day life in which we tend to categorize people into two or more groups, an elite group and one that is less so. The main cultures here are the ordained clergy and the laity. Such cultures are found not only religion, but also in other fields of endeavor including medicine, law, and the military. These fields of endeavor are described as "clergies" and the divisions within these fields have similar effects. To a great extent, the effects of such groupings are beneficial. Minimum qualifications of expertise are established. Efficiency of service is enhanced.

On the other hand, like Newton's third law of momentum, for every action there may well be an equal but opposite reaction. Many of the unintended attitudes accompanying the clerical classifications are highlighted by the author: the clergy believes it does not need to earn its credibility; and the laity often puts automatic trust in the clergy. Several such unintended inclinations are highlighted. The first half of the book is exceedingly academic and turns on the definitions of words such as "clergyhood" and culture. The discussion becomes more specific when it turns to the subject of the sex abuse scandal.

Not only does the discussion become more specific, it becomes more real. The author's generalized insights ring true when applied to the specific facts of the sex abuse scandal. Maybe that is because much of the discussion is applied common sense.
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Format: Paperback
This book turned out to be a delightful surprise. Despite it's title, it is a very positive book. It awakens the reader to a new understanding of clericalism (not just the ordained) and the reader's own contribution to clericalisn regardless of their position in life. It encourages a change oin one's perspective and outlook and as well as shared responsibility .
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Pretty good book - good explanation of the dark side of clericalism which isn't an issue only with priests - there are a couple of professions that ought to be called-out for the danger of being clerics. it affects them (and us) too.
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This book addresses the issues of sexual abuse from a wider and useful perspective. I'd recommend it for a reader who wants to take a broader view of the issues and to add to other ways of treating them.
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