Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus

Overview

Drawing on his own experience in responding to abuse, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in this explosive work methodically offers a critique of the church's use and misuse of power, from the pope proclaiming infallibly down to the preacher claiming a divine authority for every word spoken from the pulpit.

Going back to the Bible and, above all, to the teaching of Jesus, he presents an approach to sexual morality that is profound, compassionate, and ...

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Overview

Drawing on his own experience in responding to abuse, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in this explosive work methodically offers a critique of the church's use and misuse of power, from the pope proclaiming infallibly down to the preacher claiming a divine authority for every word spoken from the pulpit.

Going back to the Bible and, above all, to the teaching of Jesus, he presents an approach to sexual morality that is profound, compassionate, and people-centered. He stresses the priority of the hierarchy of holiness over the hierarchy of power.

He offers nothing less than a vision for a church of the third millennium-a church that wants to see in its members the responsibility appropriate to adults rather than the obedience appropriate to children and wants to help all people to grow to become all they are capable of being. You will love or hate this book but not be able to remain neutral.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church is at once . . . profound and . . . far-reaching. . . . His study will help us better understand the problem in question and will help us progress towards more effective remedies.
Parish Liturgy Magazine

At a time when many Catholics recognize the need for structural change within the Church, Bishop Robinson proposes changes that address the foundations that made sexual abuse within the Church almost inevitable. . . . Robinson does not leave these issues at the theoretical level but suggests structural changes that are practical and yet reach to the deepest levels of the underpinnings of the Catholic Church.
Pastoral Music

Bishop Robinson is a reformer, not a revolutionary, and his conclusions and proposals deserve our respect and consideration.
Commonweal

The introduction presents a comprehensive, forthright, and insightful picture of the complex nature of Catholic clergy abuse. . . . Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church is a testament to the bravery and commitment to truth of its author.
Conscience

We need to read and reread this book if we truly want to understand the scandal and to understand what we ought to be as church.
Catholic Agitator

The scandals of pedophile Priests has done untold damage to the Catholic Church, and Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus seeks to address the issue directly. Criticizing the church’s abuse of power and looking back to the Bible to offer a new approach to the church’s stance on sexual morality, seeking to focus on the people and to be forgiving of their flaws. Seeking a gradual reformation for a better future of the Catholic church, Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus is deftly written and highly recommended for community library collections focusing on Catholicism.
Midwest Book Review

In this beautifully forceful proposal of change for the Catholic Church, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson engages the structures that have contributed to the disconnection between the hierarchy and its people. With the firm belief that the entire Church must be examined in order to respond to the recent crises of sexual abuse, Robinson begins with the largest of theological topics, such as God, Tradition, and the Bible, and carefully connects these to the pragmatic topics of structure, authority, and sexual ethics. . . . It is a much-needed insider’s look at the structures of the Church and offers detailed change for growth and relevance. The bold willingness of a bishop to take on such a theologically careful exposé should be embraced as a long-overdue opportunity for faithful transformation.
Catholic Books Review

[T]he importance of Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church lies in the fact that a bishop, an ecclesiastical ‘insider,’ has had the courage to challenge the institution of which he was a part and invite serious conversation regarding a broad range of church issues that have too often been declared off-limits by church leadership. If Robinson’s book opens the door to more open and responsible theological conversation by members of church leadership regarding the unique demands facing our church today, it will have fulfilled its purpose.
America

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781920721473
  • Publisher: Garratt, John Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 307

Meet the Author


Donald Cozzens--priest, writer, and lecturer--teaches in the religious studies department at John Carroll University. He is the award-winning and best-selling author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood and Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church.
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Table of Contents

Foreword     1
Introduction     7
The More Immediate Causes of Abuse     9
The Wider Focus of this Book     19
A Personal History     20
Healthy People in a Healthy Relationship with a Healthy God     25
A Healthy God     26
Healthy People     30
A Healthy Relationship     40
Meditation     45
The Two Books of God     49
The Bible     50
The World Around and Within Us     57
Meditation     61
Spiritual Discernment     65
Tradition     65
The Tool of Discernment     73
Meditation     75
An Eternal Plan, a Sharing of Life and the Reign of God     77
God's Eternal Plan     77
A Sharing of Life     78
The Reign of God     79
The Church     80
Meditation     84
'Like His Brothers and Sisters in Every Respect'     87
The Knowledge of Jesus     88
'Notification on the Works of Fr. Jon Sobrino S.J.'     93
Meditation     96
In Service of God's People     99
The Bible     99
What Has Been Handed On to Us     105
The Present Situation     116
Learning From the World Around Us     129
Meditation     132
The Authority of 'the Church'     137
A Peter-Figure     139
The Middle Level     144
The Faith of the Whole Church     145
Meditation     149
Free and Responsible     153
The Bible     153
Religious Liberty     158
Conscience     158
Assisting Conscience     164
Meditation     172
A Turbulence and a Whirlpool     175
The Bible     177
What Has Been Handed on to Us     193
Meditation     195
The Return to an Original Sexual Ethic     201
Origins of Current Catholic Teaching     201
An Ethic Based on Persons     204
The Major Questions     210
Meditation     214
A Dark Grace, a Severe Mercy     217
Spiritual Harm and Spiritual Healing     217
Forgiveness     220
A New Assignment to Ministry?     225
Meditation     231
The Prison of the Past      235
The Freedom to be Wrong     235
Truths Essential to Identity     237
One Authority Changing Another     241
Particular Issues     250
The Certainty of Faith     258
Meditation     260
A Government in which All Participate     265
Three Levels of Government     265
The First Level: The Peter-Figure     268
The Second Level: The Bishops     271
The Third Level: The Mind of the Whole Church     282
Meditation     287
A Change of Heart and Mind     289
Accountability and Professionalism     290
The Laity: Citizens or Civilians?     293
Renewing the Theological Conversation     296
Putting Our Own House in Order     297
A Church in the World     300
Conclusion     302
Meditation     304

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2011

    Excellent book for adults who want to be treated as adults in their sincere search for truth as christians.

    The author has bravely confronted the powerful authorities in his beloved church to help us think clearly about what so desperately needs changing within that church that so many of us also love.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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