Forces for Change in Catholic Ministry

Richard A. Schoenherr

Edited by David Yamane

in Goodbye Father

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195082593
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780199834952 | DOI:
Forces for Change in Catholic Ministry

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This chapter examines seven historical trends related to the Catholic Church that have been gaining strength over the latter half of the twentieth century. Each trend comprises two countervailing forces in a dialectical relationship. Together they compose a matrix that is creating tension toward change in the structure of Catholic ministry that will lead first to married priests and then to the ordination of women in the Catholic Church. The seven trends are the demographic transition to a shortage of priests documented in the USA; the shift from dogmatism to pluralism; the shift from a Western to a world Church; celibacy and the growing personalism of human sexuality; the feminist movement; the lay movement; and the liturgical movement. Part III of the book (Chs. 7–9) further examines this trend.

Keywords: Catholic Church; celibacy; change; dogmatism; feminism; laity; lay movement; liturgical movement; liturgy; married priests; ordination; pluralism; priesthood; priest shortage; sexuality; USA; Western Church; women; world Church

Chapter.  9966 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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