The Crisis of Authority in Catholic Modernity

Paperback | April 3, 2011

byMichael J. Lacey, Francis Oakley

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One deep problem facing the Catholic church is the question of how its teaching authority is understood today. It is fairly clear that, while Rome continues to teach as if its authority were unchanged from the days before Vatican II (1962-65), the majority of Catholics - within the first-worldchurch, at least - take a far more independent line, and increasingly understand themselves (rather than the church) as the final arbiters of decision-making, especially on ethical questions. This collection of essays explores the historical background and present ecclesial situation, explaining the dramatic shift in attitude on the part of contemporary Catholics in the U.S. and Europe. The overall purpose is neither to justify nor to repudiate the authority of the church's hierarchy,but to cast some light on: the context within which it operates, the complexities and ambiguities of the historical tradition of belief and behavior it speaks for, and the kinds of limits it confronts - consciously or otherwise. The authors do not hope to fix problems, although some of the essaysmake suggestions, but to contribute to a badly needed intra-Catholic dialogue without which, they believe, problems will continue to fester and solutions will remain elusive.

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One deep problem facing the Catholic church is the question of how its teaching authority is understood today. It is fairly clear that, while Rome continues to teach as if its authority were unchanged from the days before Vatican II (1962-65), the majority of Catholics - within the first-worldchurch, at least - take a far more independ...

Michael J. Lacey is Senior Fellow, Lonergan Institute at Boston College. Francis Oakley is former president (1985-1993) of Williams College and former president of the New England Medieval Conference. He is currently chairman of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 3, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199778787

ISBN - 13:9780199778782

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Table of Contents

Michael J. Lacey: Prologue: The Problem of Authority and LimitSection One: Historical Background - Contested Pasts1. Francis Oakley: History and the Return of the Repressed in Catholic Modernity: The Dilemma Posed by Constance2. Michael J. Lacey: Leo's Church and Our Own3. Joseph A. Komonchak: Benedict XVI and the Interpretation of Vatican IISection Two: Theological, Canonistic, and Philosophical Issues - Stubborn Challenges, Emerging Directions4. Francis A. Sullivan, S.J.: Catholic Tradition and Traditions5. John P. Beal: Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Law: Canon Law and Its Discontents6. Gerard Mannion: A Teaching Church That Learns? Discerning 'Authentic' Teaching in Our Times7. Lisa Sowell Cahill: Moral Theology After Vatican II8. M. Cathleen Kaveny: Retrieving and Reframing Catholic Casuistry9. Charles Taylor: Magisterial AuthoritySection Three: Practical Limits - Authority in the Lived Catholicism of American Laity and Clergy10. William V. D'Antonio, James D. Davidson, Dean R. Hoge, and Mary Gautier: American Catholics and Church Authority11. Leslie Woodcock Tentler: Souls and Bodies: The Birth Control Controversy and The Collapse of Confession12. Katarina Schuth: Assessing the Education of Priests and Lay Ministers: Content and ConsequencesFrancis Oakley: Epilogue: The Matter of UnityPope Benedict XVI: Appendix: Remarks on Interpreting Vatican II