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The Crisis of Confidence in the Catholic Church


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Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Nature of the Crisis 2. How the Church has Handled Grave Crises in the Past 3. The Monolith Church as it Emerged from the FrenchRevolution 4. Between the Two Vatican Councils: The Church Striving toFind Itself 5. Vatican Council II: Its First Period, 1962 6. The Council Without Pope John 7. Bringing the Council to Its Conclusion 8. Why was the Council So Important? 9. The Crisis Begins to Set In 10. Pope John Paul II 11. Sex Scandal in the New Millennium 12. What Shall Be Done? Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

Examines the roots of the crisis of confidence in the lightof the nature of the Church community

Promotional Information

Examines the roots of the crisis of confidence in the lightof the nature of the Church community

About the Author

Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., is Instructor in Conflict Resolution at the Department of Theology, Boston College, USA.


Helmick takes an in-depth look at the major crises, failures, and missed opportunities that have plagued Roman Catholicism ... The author's grasp of church history is impressive, ranging from the East-West split to the events of today ... He argues that the Catholic Church suffers from an excessive amount of clericalism and a sense of privilege. Through this lens, Helmick explores how it has failed repeatedly to respond to serious issues such as church decline and the sex abuse of children ... This title is not the work of someone with an agenda against the Catholic Church. Instead, it is a well-researched book that seeks to correct many of the Church's historical shortcomings. Overall, this volume is suitable for both teachers and students seeking to learn more about Catholic Church history. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty. -- J. L. Best, St. Thomas University * CHOICE *
Raymond G. Helmick provides a well-balanced and historically informed account of how the current crisis of confidence in the Catholic Church has arisen. * Theology Journal *
Pope Francis is calling for a church that is honest about its failings, faithful to the liberating vision of Vatican II and filled with hope in the promise of the Spirit. The pope could find no more eloquent and insightful champion than Fr. Raymond Helmick. This remarkable book offers a wise balance between discerning church critique and practical proposals for a more healthy church. Helmick brings tremendous erudition and pastoral sensitivity to his analysis of the Catholic church's post-conciliar "crisis of confidence." Although unflinching in his critique, Helmick sustains the voice of someone who loves the church too much to give up on it. And neither should we. * Richard R. Gaillardetz, Boston College, USA *
With a broad sweep of the pen Father Helmick delves into the deep roots and analyses the present manifestations of the crisis today in the Catholic church. Vatican Council II is the centrepiece of his study. I recommend this accessible book for all those interested in how we got to where we are. * John o'Malley, Georgetown University, USA *
This timely book is a prolegomenon to the papacy of Pope Francis. Father Helmick honestly and faithfully describes the history of the church and the crisis which Pope Francis is addressing through his lifestyle, his words and his compassionate spirit. This book has lessons for all Christians in how to be the Church in the 21st Century, collegial, true to its essentials and roots in the 1st century, and understanding itself as all the People of God. * Tom Porter, Boston University School of Theology, USA *
This masterful work is essential reading for those who want to understand the Catholic Church today and to think critically and hopefully about its future. * Worship *

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