Item description for The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflections on the Priest's Crisis of Soul by Donald B. Cozzens...
Overview One of the most honest and thoughtful reflections on the state of the American Roman Catholic priesthood that has appeared so far,"---Commonweal. Earlier, priests held public liturgical roles that seemed remote from the laity; now they are considered servant-leaders of the gathered community of faith.
Few today would contest that the priesthood is in a state of crisis. The nature and implications of that crisis, however, remain the subject of considerable discussion and debate. In "The Changing Face of the Priesthood," Fr. Donald Cozzens offers insight into the crisis by reflecting on the issues, challenges, concerns, and realities of the priesthood today.
The same year that Pope John XXIII surprised the Catholic world with his call for an ecumenical council, Cozzens began his formal study of theology. As a seminarian he felt the shaking of the priesthood's foundations. The very face of the priesthood was evolving even as he arrived at his first parish assignment. A generation later, the face of the priesthood continues to reveal new contours, fascinating features, and sadly, some tragic blemishes.
In "The Changing Face of the Priesthood," Cozzens takes a long, honest look at the present state of the priesthood. He provides this examination not merely from an empirical, scientific perspective but also from a personal, pastoral perspective. Drawing on clinical data, church documents, and his nearly forty years of pastoral experience, Cozzens gives shape and form to the changing face of the priesthood. Through his reflections he leads readers to both concern and hope for the priesthood of the twenty-first century.
Chapters are Discovering an Identity," *Guarding One's Integrity, - *Loving as a Celibate, - *Facing the Unconscious, - *Becoming a Man, - *Tending the Word, - *Considering Orientation, - *Betraying Our Young, - and *The Changing Face of the Priesthood. -
Donald Cozzens, PhD, a priest and writer, is author of two award-winning titles, "Sacred Silence" and "The Changing Face of the Priesthood," and editor of "The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest," all published by Liturgical Press. He is writer in residence at John Carroll University where he teaches in the religious studies department."
Citations And Professional Reviews The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflections on the Priest's Crisis of Soul by Donald B. Cozzens has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Commonweal - 08/11/2000 page 20
Christian Century - 10/25/2000 page 1085
New York Review of Books - 05/23/2002 page 6
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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."
Reviews - What do customers think about The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul?
Whatever happened to the word "apostolate"? Feb 24, 2008
It is troubling that Father Cozzens has used this book to veil his attempts at putting smiley faces on dissent from authentic teaching. For example, he tells us that "a large number of priests faced a crisis of integrity after the publication of Humanae Vitae in July 1968....there have been other Vatican decrees and declarations which placed priests between official [sic] church positions and teachings and the reality of their parishioners' lives and the insights of their own pastoral experience" (pp. 22, 23). How tragic that so many of Father Cozzens' generation are still blind to the prophetic nature of Pope Paul VI's encyclical!
Early in the book, Father Cozzens articulates a "model" which just seems to miss the boat: "One of the major responsibilities of the pastor...is to identify parishioners with ministerial charisms, call them forth to service, and to encourage the development of their specific gifts and talents" (p.7). Father Cozzens does not seem to be truly familiar with the authentic vocation of the laity, so well articulated by Pope John Paul II in Christifideles Laici, as well as by the Vatican (eg, See Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collarboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests). Our primary vocation is the "apostolate" of bringing Christ to the world!
Very Insightful and Relevant! Feb 6, 2007
This is an absolute must-read for any seminarian, priest or religious - I am not kidding. While the demographic directly addressed is that of the diocesan priest, as a religious I found much of what Cozzens addressed to be very relevant to my personal experience as well. While I certainly do not agree with everything he says, Cozzens does a wonderful job presenting information and applicable examples and statistics to support his findings. His observations are generally dead-on and help to articulate many issues that priests and religious encounter today. His focus on identity and integration throughout the book is well done and lends to his concern for the future generations of priests and their formation in the modern world.
A significant book to read.
Must Read for Catholics-Our Church is in the hands of the Evil One Sep 4, 2005
Written by an enlightened, well educated, and expertly experienced priest from the old school. The old school was predominently heterosexual, and for the most part, predominently celibate. Today, approximately 40% of Catholic priests are gay and 55% of the seminarians are gay. According to the author, this has created a gay subculture in our seminaries and throughout the Church starting with priests and extending through the bishops' and cardinals' ranks. This is a subculure that is so entrenched that Church higher ups wonder if it can ever be purged from the Catholic Church. Learn why homosexuality in the Church is driving out the non-homosexual priests and seminarians, thus creating the existing shortage of priests in the American Catholic Church. Read this book and WAKE UP to the threat!
An Honest, Loving, yet Critical Look at Priesthood Sep 28, 2003
When I heard Donald Cozzens speak about a year ago, he started off his talk by saying something to the effect of "Some of you may have heard I wrote a book and you know about chapter 7. There are other chapters as well." Chapter 7 deals with sexual orientation and the priesthood and at the time, it got quite a bit of press coverage. The heart of the book went largely ignored. Interestingly he even included a chapter on clergy sexual abuse, why it needs to be addressed and how it can be remedied, but the interest in this chapter was scant as compared with the chapter on sexual orientation. Many of the issues covered were hardly as sensational. Other reformers had called for optional celibacy. Others studies noted the discontent in priesthood or the identity crisis facing many in the priesthood. Still, many who read this work believed it could not be ignored. Fr. Cozzens was after all, a former seminary rector, charged with the responsibility of training priests. He should know, shouldn't he? Shouldn't his words be acknowledged as accurate? Interestingly, in January 2002, when the clergy sexual abuse crisis hit the front pages of newspapers, and rumors people believed to be malicious turned all too often turned out to be true, many realized that Fr. Cozzens book was not a critical look at ministerial priesthood, but rather prophetic.
Cozzens book is important to the debate on how the priesthood needs to be reformed. His words are impassioned, but not biased. He clearly loves his priesthood, but knows that the ministry of a priest is far more important than clinging to models which may be impractical and ideals which may be impossible to attain. His book is not one that offers simple solutions, but rather challenges a person to examine the priesthood and the Church itself with the goal of saving, and not destroying and institution through which many find Christ.
Heterodox approach to the issues May 29, 2002
Cozzens presents a heterodoxical view of the issue of priesthood. Read "Goodbye, Good Men" by Michael Rose for the true reason why the priesthood is being changed and challenged. It is because orthodox men are turned away by vocation directors who are pushing a heterodox agenda.
One of the sources of heterodoxy is the rise of psychological 'theory' over church doctrine and teaching. This is so backwards. In every generation for 2000 years, the orthodox deposit of the faith has produced saints - men and woman who heroically live lives of self-sacrifice for others and manifest supernatual grace in the world. They are the fruits of orthodoxy - the True Deposit of the Faith. Cozzens makes no use of the orthodox sources on priestly life.
Cozzens would rather rely upon psychologies such as Freud and Carl Jung. Both of these men's theories are in stark opposition to the orthodox teachings of the faith - they promote a neo-paganism clothed in psycho-babble. Freud is the High Priest of Eros (the god of Sex) and Jung the magician of the Occult and Gnosticism (under the heading of 'Individuation'). How could a priest elevate these theories to view the church's priestly ministry and ignore the Early Church Fathers? And what is the fruit of Freud and Jung? Well Woody Allen is the poster boy of psycho-therapy and after years of years of it, what does he do? He walk out on Mia Farrow and her children, because of his affair with one of her adolescent children from the third world! Where are the Freudian and Jungian saints? Where are the men and woman who have poured themselves out for others under these theories?
So, Cozzens writes this sensitive account which disguises the fraud behind his writing - that of elevating failed theories of analysis over the time proven approach of the Church.
Try reading "Goodbye, Good Men" by Michael Rose instead for a more honest and penetrating account.