Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church Hardcover – 19 Dec 2013
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About the Author
Christopher White is the Director of Education and Programs at the Center for Bioethics and Culture. He writes frequently on matters of public policy and social ethics, and is a regular contributor to many print and online publications, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Review Online, Catholic World Report, Human Life Review, First Things, Public Discourse, and the National Catholic Register. He was awarded a 2013-2014 Robert Novak Fellowship. He lives in New York City.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
At long last orthodox Catholics have reason to stand up and cheer. It just could be that after five tumultuous decades the worm has finally turned. A new generation of transformational bishops and priests are committed to reversing many of the errors, misconceptions and outright heresies that have been promulgated by progressive Catholic theologians, writers, educators and clergy over the past fifty years. The trend is undeniable. Authors Anne Hendershott and Christopher White have been monitoring recent developments in the Catholic world and have compiled their thoughts and observations in an exciting new book "Renewal: How A New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church". The evidence presented in this volume is convincing and overwhelming. It is not going to be easy nor will it happen overnight, but the groundwork is being laid for a revitalized Catholic church that is faithful to the Magisterium.
According to Hendershott and White there is little doubt that Pope John Paul II's historic 1990 encyclical "Redemptoris Missio" has served as one of the main catalysts for the revitalization of the Catholic Church. To be sure, the so-called "New Evangelization" is a very different type of missionary work that targets historically Christian nations and the millions of Catholics who have for one reason or another have fallen away from their faith. John Paul II's message certainly seems to be resonating with young people hungering for the truth as evidenced by the huge throngs that have assembled at the World Youth Days over the past two decades. Furthermore, the authors found the new generation of Catholic priests to be much more orthodox in their views and more likely to support the Pope and traditional Church teachings. Readers will also learn about exciting new alliances that are being forged by Church leaders in an effort to counter the never-ending drumbeat of progressives on key social issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and the outrageous HHS mandate. Sad to say but it turns out that orthodox Catholics like myself have far more in common with evangelical Protestants on these issues than we do with our own "progressive" Catholic brothers and sisters. Meanwhile, "Renewal" also offers up fresh insights on the looming battles in the ongoing culture war. Of particular interest to me was a discussion on the future of Catholic higher education. Once again, Pope John Paul II has led the way with his extraordinary document "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" in which the Pontiff insists that the teaching in Catholic educational facilities be in keeping with official Church doctrine. What a revolutionary idea! But as you might expect this 1990 directive has met with strong opposition from all too many of the so-called Catholic colleges and universities across the nation and around the world and has largely been ignored. For many orthodox Catholics the last straw was Notre Dame's extremely ill-advised invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver the school's commencement address back in 2009. In the final chapter of the book called "Catholic Renewal: The Good News" Hendershott and White introduce us to a new organization called "Catholic Voices" which is "dedicated to training lay Catholics to offer articulate and compelling arguments for an active role of the Church in the public square." This is an extremely important development as clearly the Catholic Church needs to develop a strong chorus of informed voices advocating for the faith.
There is certainly much food for thought in "Renewal: How A New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church". I found it to be a thoughtful, instructive and extremely well-written book. The so-called "faithful Catholic remnant" that the authors refer to need to read this book and pass it on to other Catholics. After reading "Renewal" I find that I am much more optimistic about the future of our Church. Highly recommended!
But Hendershott and White, citing data on new ordinations in dioceses led by bold, unapologetic, and faithful bishops, chronicle how the Church in America is heading in the right direction. The authors show how these faithful leaders not only provide spiritual inspiration, but also are more aggressive in supporting organizations that reach out to lapsed Catholics or those who may not be inclined to seek Truth. While dioceses such as Rochester and Albany see disproportionate decline in parishioners due to failures of leadership, there are many more clusters of Catholics in America where the faith is booming, where new technologies and ideas are driving conversions, and faithful leaders set examples by being Catholic first, causing men and women in their dioceses to drop everything and heed the call to Christ.
Stats are dry & boring for meto plough through though, but all in all it's an inspirational work.
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