Book

The Catholic Revolution

Andrew Greeley

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238176
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938779 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238176.001.0001
The Catholic Revolution

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How, a mere generation after Vatican Council II initiated the biggest reform since the Reformation, can the Catholic Church be in such deep trouble? The question resonates throughout this book. A timely and much-needed review of forty years of Church history, the book offers a genuinely new interpretation of the complex and radical shift in American Catholic attitudes since the second Vatican Council (1962–1965). Drawing on a wealth of data collected over the last thirty years, the book points to a rift between the higher and lower orders in the Church that began in the wake of Vatican Council II—when bishops, euphoric in their (temporary) freedom from the obstructions of the Roman Curia, introduced modest changes that nonetheless proved too much for still-rigid structures of Catholicism: the “new wine” burst the “old wineskins.” As the Church leadership tried to re-impose the old order, clergy and the laity, newly persuaded that “unchangeable” Catholicism could in fact change, began to make their own reforms, sweeping away the old “rules” that no longer made sense. The revolution that this book describes brought about changes that continue to reverberate—in a chasm between leadership and laity, and in a whole generation of Catholics who have become Catholic on their own terms. Coming at a time of crisis and doubt for the Catholic Church, this analysis brings light and clarity to the years of turmoil that have shaken the foundations, if not the faith, of American Catholics.

Keywords: Vatican Council II; reform; Reformation; bishops; Roman Curia; Catholicism; old order; clergy; laity; American Catholics

Book.  237 pages. 

Subjects: Christianity

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Catholic Revolution

Chapter

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A Catholic Revolution in The Catholic Revolution

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The Wineskins Burst in The Catholic Revolution

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What Happened? in The Catholic Revolution

Chapter

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How Do They Stay? in The Catholic Revolution

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Only in America? in The Catholic Revolution

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Why They Stay in The Catholic Revolution

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