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How does one become a bishop in the Catholic Church? Electing our Bishops: How the Catholic Church Should Choose Its Leaders explains how history, politics, and religious tradition converge to produce the episcopacy. The book gives an historical overview from the earliest times when bishops were elected by the clergy and people of the diocese to the present day where they are normally appointed by the pope. In light of the current clergy sexual abuse scandal, many distinguished theologians, canonists, and church historians have called for greater popular participation in the selection of bishops, and Electing our Bishops discusses ideas for new forms of election that involve both clergy and laity. This book is an important tool for Catholics who want to understand the history and process of the election of bishops as well as how the process might change in the future.
Joseph F. O'Callaghan is professor emeritus in the department of history at Fordham University. He is past president of the American Catholic Historical Association and is the author of several books, notably Reconquest and Crusade in Medieval Spain and Alfonso X and the Cantigas de Santa Maria: A Poetic Biography.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Bishop and People: A Bond of Trust Chapter 2 Election of Bishops in the Early Church Chapter 3 Royal Nomination of Bishops in the Early Middle Ages Chapter 4 To the Eve of the Protestant Reformation Chapter 5 From the Protestant Reformation to Vatican II Chapter 6 Contemporary Appointment of Bishops Chapter 7 "Is He Worthy?" Chapter 8 Re-Membering a Dis-Membered Church