Item description for With Respect: Authority in the Catholic Church by Tony Hanna...
"This is a book about authority, especially authority as exercised in the Roman Catholic Church. I write today because I struggle with authority as I believe many fellow church members, both cleric and lay do. What I have learned from my own life experience is that authority comes not from titles or books or positions but from the quality of relationship. The book is offered to all men and women who exercise, endure, rail against, submit to or grapple with authority. It is offered humbly and with respect."
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Studio: Columba Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.36" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.3" Weight: 0.28 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2008
Publisher Columba Press
ISBN 1856076091 ISBN13 9781856076098
Reviews - What do customers think about With Respect: Authority in the Catholic Church?
I wasted my money on this book. DON'T WASTE YOURS! Sep 12, 2008
What bothers me most is not that I wasted my money on this book, but that I bought it in Rome with Euro and hence, threw away even more money than I would have liked.
This book sets out to be a balanced assessment and, when necessary, critique of authority as exercised in the Roman Catholic Church. It begins with the author saying how he wants to be fair. He then commences with the typical whine about the big bad "pre-Vatican II" Church. The intro. includes subjective, ax-grinding snipits from his own personal life; how a priest took a book away from him when he was a kid, how his unenlightened mom told him that priests and religious had a higher vocation.
The majority of the book (just under 100 pages) is the usual leftist whine. The author does not brake any new ground nor say anything that hasn't been said before. He bemoans Church authority and plays off the way that it has historically developed as basically the exclusive result of ambitious popes and an inability of church authority to democratize the Church and grant matching authority to the laity. The theology in the book is archaic (very 1970s) and shallow. In spite of a few filler sentences in "With Respect", the majority is a gripe over power struggle and the usual liberal position that the true and pristine vision of Vatican II has not been actualized in the Catholic Church.
The few paragraphs that he dedicates to Pope Benedict XVI made me think that he completed the book before the Holy Father's election, with lots of anti-Ratzinger rants, some of which remained in the book, albeit subliminally, but most of which had to be scrapped after the 2005 conclave.
Tony Hanna, the author, cannot control himself though. He dotes over the more liberal and radical theologians and authors, some of whom have been suspended or have very dubious reputations. He also proposes the usual solutions, especially a call for a quasi-democratic Church (more bureaucracy!) that calls the shots with the pope and bishops whose authority was, as he implies, mostly ceremonial and nominal until after a certain point in Church history. He is even cranky that the papal conclave isn't a kind of American Idol-esque election in which any "Tom, Dick, or Harry" can vote!
At the end of the book, not surprisingly, Hanna slips in the customary (although more implicit than some pre-Benedict XVI books) call that women be ordained - at least as deacons if they cannot be ordained priests.
I don't want to go on and on but I'll just conclude by saying that the book "With Respect" is nothing special, even as left-of-center Roman Catholic books go. Save your money and buy something else.