Item description for Toward a New Catholic Church: The Promise of Reform by James Carroll...
Overview Elaborating on the "Call for Vatican III" that he issued in his bestselling book "Constantine's Sword, " James Carroll now proposes a clear agenda for reform to help concerned Catholics understand the most essential issues facing their Church.
Publishers Description Elaborating on "A Call for Vatican III" in his best-selling book Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, James Carroll proposes a clear agenda for reform to help concerned Catholics understand the most essential issues facing their Church. He moves beyond current events to suggest new ways for Catholics to approach Scripture, Jesus, and power, and he looks at the daunting challenges facing the Church in a world of diverse beliefs and contentious religious fervor. His case for democracy within the Church illustrates why lay people have already initiated change. Carroll shows that all Catholics -- parishioners, priests, bishops, men and women -- have an equal stake in the Church's future.
Citations And Professional Reviews Toward a New Catholic Church: The Promise of Reform by James Carroll has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 117
Publishers Weekly - 09/09/2002 page 63
Booklist - 09/15/2002 page 182
New York Times - 11/03/2002 page 24
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 89
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Reviews - What do customers think about Toward a New Catholic Church: The Promise of Reform?
An important book Dec 5, 2005
This book, written by former Catholic priest James Carroll (Boston Globe), is an important book, especially in today's world of fundamentalism, religious pluralism and rumors of war. With election of Pope Benedict to the papacy, talk of where he will take the Church has been in the news and in scholarly journals. In this book, Carroll offers a nice summary of five issues the Church must address if it is to be relevant for a contemporary world. They are 1) A New Biblical Literacy 2) the Church and Power 3) A New Christology 4) the Holiness of Democracy and 5) Repentance.
Carroll's book is a welcome addition to the reform-minded literature dealing with the Church's theology. It will also alarm traditionalists who want to maintain a biblical literalism, a high Christology, the substitionary atonement, as well as other orthodox teachings of the Church. Whether or not one agrees with Mr. Carroll he has raised important questions that, unless addressed, will continue to isolate Catholics and others outside the Church who long for transcendence but are unable to join the Church either for moral and/or intellectual reasons.
Toward a New Catholic Church is a must read for all reform-minded Catholics who want a compact summary of what difficult issues lay ahead for the Catholic Church as it enters the twenty-first century. Highly Recommended.
Also recommended: The Gospel of Arnie
Toward a new religion Sep 6, 2002
For the first four chapters, I thought I had never read a book on the Catholic Church where the ideas so perfectly meshed with my own. When talking about the exercise of church power, interpreting the Bible, relations with those of other religions (especially Jews)and treatment of women, James Carroll has written a book that rings of truth. In the chapter on a New Christology, however, he advocates an emphasis on creation and divine love available to all rather than salvation and diverges so much from what has been thought of as Catholicism (or even Christianity) that he virtually creates a new syncristic religion. The advocated embrace of pluralism would place Catholicism as one religion among many with nothing particular to recommend it over any other. One wonders what the place of evangelism would be in such a structure. In the final chapters on democracy and repentance he is once again on more solid ground, though he has more faith (if I may use that word) in democracy that I do. All in all, however, a thought-provoking book that will both please and offend many. No one will be bored, however.
What would be the point of his "new" church? Sep 5, 2002
James Carroll, like many other liberal Catholic authors making bestseller lists today, is very skilled in pointing out the reality of Original Sin, and its effects on men, even men of the collar. The presence of sin in the Church is not news. However, to use this reality in a dishonest way to "reel-in" people's emotions is, simply put, an objective evil. However, the phenonema of people believing anything and everything they read is nothing new. As another truly Catholic author, G.K. Chestern wrote early in the last century, "Statements are made so plainly and positively that men have hardly the moral courage to pause upon them and find that they are without support."
And that's really the question here; do the things cited by Caroll support in any way the thesis he tries to propose? The reality of original sin, no matter how tragic, has nothing to do with women's ordination. The reality of original sin, no matter how tragic, has nothing to do with accepting gays. The reality of original sin, no matter how tragic, has nothing to do with needing to accept liberal textual criticism and an entirely pointless, "Jesus seminar-esque" Jesus. It also has nothing to do with the divine truth of Catholic doctrine, and all that derives itself from that.
The problem is that he, like Gary Wills, uses the faults of individuals (even in collective) as a vehicle to promote completely unrelated ideas; particularly his vision of a church which is in no way distinguishable from liberal, modernist, secular society. The church would effectively cease to be the City of God on earth, but rather become a building where nothing significant or worthwhile takes place. It would be a place where the ideas preached inside are simply re-statements of ideas passed around by the media and on the streets. Catholicism, in short, would simply become another new-age "feel good" religion, and not the religion where people are convicted of their sins, and are moved to repent (which involves the acceptance of immutable and objective - not subjective and relativistic - moral codes), trust in Jesus, and have their lives changed for the sake of following Jesus, no matter how little society at large thinks of you. THIS is the legitimate mission of the Church. The mission of the Church is not to conform itself to the wisdom of this age (Rom. 12:12).
And if you really think about it, this is the logical deduction of the Church that liberals envision; a Catholic Church that is entirely indistinguishable from secular society at large.
If you want some intelligent commentary on the real issues, their roots, and VALID, Godly solutions, I suggest reading Michael Rose's "Goodbye, Good Men", and George Weigel's "The Courage to be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church."