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Pultizer Prize-winning author Garry Wills once studied to become a priest himself, but in this audacious book, the man regarded by many as one of the leading Catholic intellectuals of the past half century voices doubt that the usefulness of this long tradition. Wills argues that priesthood, which didn't exist in the days of Saint Peter and Paul, gained its authority because of the Letter to Hebrews, an anonymous, late addition to the New Testament. With that bequeath also came the belief in apostolic succession, the sacrificial interpretation of the Mass, the real presence in the Eucharist, and the ransom theory of redemption. To Wills, the priesthood has been, at best, a very mixed blessing. In fact, he proposes, but doesn't fully expect, its withering away. A provocative critique; certain to be prominently reviewed and discussed.