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A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   420
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.18" Width: 6.08" Height: 1.07"
Weight:   1.07 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2004
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  0743261445  
EAN  9780743261449  


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Item Description...
Overview
In this widely acclaimed book that will long remain an indispensable work on American religion and the Catholic Church, one of its most influential laymen in the United States says that the Roman Catholic Church in America must either reform profoundly or lapse into irreversible decline. In addition to providing a spiritual identity for over 60 million Americans, the church is the nation's largest nongovernmental provider of education and social services, as well as the largest not-for-profit provider of health care. But even before the recent revelations about sex abuse by priests, American Catholicism was already heading for a major crisis, with its traditional leadership depleted by the decline in religious vocations and paralyzed by "theological gridlock." Catholicism in the United States confronts hard choices among contrasting visions for the future, choices with huge implications for American life. Analyzing these choices in ways that escape all the familiar labels of conservative or liberal, Steinfels points to the directions the church must take to survive.

Publishers Description
In this widely acclaimed book that will long remain an indispensable work on American religion and the Catholic Church, one of its most influential laymen in the United States says that the Roman Catholic Church in America must either reform profoundly or lapse into irreversible decline.
In addition to providing a spiritual identity for over 60 million Americans, the church is the nation's largest nongovernmental provider of education and social services, as well as the largest not-for-profit provider of health care. But even before the recent revelations about sex abuse by priests, American Catholicism was already heading for a major crisis, with its traditional leadership depleted by the decline in religious vocations and paralyzed by "theological gridlock."
Catholicism in the United States confronts hard choices among contrasting visions for the future, choices with huge implications for American life. Analyzing these choices in ways that escape all the familiar labels of conservative or liberal, Steinfels points to the directions the church must take to survive.

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More About Peter Steinfels

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Peter Steinfels, former co-director of the Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture, is a university professor at Fordham. He was religion columnist for The New York Times" and editor of Commonweal". Steinfels is the author of A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America" (Simon & Schuster, 2003). He lives in New York City.

Peter Steinfels currently resides in the state of New York.

Peter Steinfels has published or released items in the following series...
  1. American Catholics in the Public Square Series


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Government > Constitutions   [824  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Mr Steinfels Again has Totally Wrong Premise, As His Other books on Catholicism Show  Mar 12, 2007
Indisputable Reality is That the Roman Catholic Church in the USA is the Fastest Growing Church in the USA, According to the National Council of Churches. They Listed RCC at 2.6% Growth in 2005, 2% Growth in USA 2006. That translates into approximatelly 1.7 Million More Active Catholics in 2005, And over 3 Million More to 69 Million in last 2 years. Vastly Higher than Any Other Church, Since RC Church is By Far the Largest in USA. Mr Steinfells Ignores the Vast Viewership of EWTN Cable/satellite/online, With its Profound, Rich, Traditional, Superior, Thought Provoking Programing Content. Mr Steinfels Also ignores the Rapid Growth of Traditionalism in Roman Catholicism. Traditional Churches are Only ones Growing. Mr Steinfels wrote Another book in 2006, Alleging "100,000 Catholic Nuns" Left Their Orders Since Vatican II of 1960's, Atributing that to Male Only Dominating Catholic Bishops. Totally Wrong on Both Premises. FIRST, Vast Majority of the "100,000" "Nuns" who left Did Not. They Died of Old Age, "On the Job". Mr Steinfels so admitted to This Reviewer on the Live NPR Diahn Rehm National Callin. He admitted using Dead Nuns in his Figure of how many left. And it was the Liberal Misunderstandings Following Vatican II that caused most Departures > No Need of Uniforms/habits, Perhaps Marriage Allowed, etc. All serious Misunderstandings, Opposite of Vatican II. Media Hype, As Mr Styeinfels is Now doing, with 2 Highly Misrepresenting Books, Is Primary Reason. And Vocations to Traditional Nunneries is "rapidly" Growing, Quite the Contray to Mr Steinfels' False allegation of Decline in Nuns Continuing. Mr Steinfels Needs to find Topics he can Write about Without Gravelly False Premises. Vocations to Catholic Clergy are Rapidly Growing. 2 for Priesthood, One for Teaching Nun, One to Religiopus Brother, in 2 Nearest Parishes to me. And Arlington Virginia Catholic Diocese (Northern Virginia) has 33 In Seminary for Priesthood Now.
 
Catholicism in the U.S.A.  Feb 17, 2007
Peter Steinfels is a 'New York Times' columnist and in this book he analyzes the major institutional challenges facing American Catholicism in the twenty-first century. He focuses on Church leadership, priest sex-abuse scandals, contrasting visions and gender issues. He maintains that the Church is at a crossroads, poised "on the verge of an irreversible decline or a thoroughgoing transformation" and offers recommendations for action.
 
A Sobering Work  Aug 25, 2006
As the crisis in the Catholic Church unfolded in all its ugly details, a number of books were published with the intent of giving perspective about what has been happening in the Church. Three books that continue to educate and enlighten are George Weigel's THE COURAGE TO BE CATHOLIC which approaches the issue from a more traditional approach. David Gibson's THE COMING CATHOLIC CHURCH looks at the church from the point of view of a journalist and Catholic convert. Peter Steinfels' A PEOPLE ADRIFT has been dubbed "the liberal" book, perhaps because of Steinfels' association with the magazine COMMONWEAL.

One of the strengths of the Catholic Church is that it combines both faith and reason. Just look at how many great thinkers have been in the Catholic tradition and how many of the brilliant minds have been people of deep faith too: Saints Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Bonaventure, and Anselm are just a few great minds. A rigorous intellect is seen as a gift from God and a gift to be used. Church documents are constantly calling us to "read the signs of the times" and apply the faith accordingly. To do this, we need to listen to a variety of authentic perspectives, knowing that no one person has all of the truth or the exact answer, while trusting to that the Spirit is alive in the Church, the Church being both the leadership and magisterial authority and the people of God, not one or the other, but both. Peter Steinfels and George Weigel seem to embrace faith and reason as well as the importance of reading the signs of the times and both give us a perspective of doing so in A PEOPLE ADRIFT and THE COURAGE TO BE CATHOLIC.

The strength of A PEOPLE ADRIFT is Steinfels' ability to define the problem and give an accurate portrayal of Catholics in The United States, both those who see themselves as practicing and connected to the Church and those who may be what some call "culturally Catholic." While some may see this book as a thinly disguised book that calls for a relaxation of Church teaching on sexual matters, a call for women's ordination and an end to the celibate priesthood and a weakening of ecclesial authority, a careful reading will prove otherwise. What Steinfels does is paints a picture of Catholic life today and shows not so much the variety of people as much as the variety as to what the Church believes and how the lived experience can be somewhat different. He discusses a number of opposing points of view among Catholics on matters of supreme importance and more trivial areas. Readers may not always like what is said, but Steinfels isn't so much stating a point of view as he is stating the problem and what has to be addressed for the future.

For me, the broad scope of the book is impressive and the background information in the book is fascinating. I also believe the book does a good job at stating Catholic beliefs about issues such as abortion and homosexuality and how the reasons behind Catholic teaching in these areas differs from others who may share the point of view. He also does a good job at summing up the opposing arguments on these issues and how they are inconsistent. This is not a book that everyone will agree with, and it's not perfect. It does point out the seriousness of eth problems facing the Church and the danger and irreparable harm that will result of the issues are not addressed. Also, since perspective is important, the books by Gibson and Weigel on these issues should not be ignored either.
 
Nice Commentary on Current Issues.  Jun 8, 2006
Steinfels has a vested interest in the subject matter of this book and that makes a positive difference.

I believe, like the author, that the Roman Catholic Church is in troubled times. Although this is not the first time in the history of Christianity that the Church has found itself reflecting on its mission in the world and its relationship to that world, Steinfels (a Catholic, a writer and a historian) makes an effort to look at today's issues and elucidate possible problems and solutions.

He does a good job at presenting the issues and approaching them from a variety of angles. The topics - always handled with respect - lead to great conversations.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is seriously engaged in the Church or is curious about the current struggles that we as a community of believers are facing today.

Read this book.
 
Hope for a battered church  Apr 19, 2006
Steinfels has been covering religion in America as a journalist for a long time, and the balanced viewpoint that this has given him, along with his personal faith (which appears to be deep and well educated), makes him an authoritative speaker when it comes to the recent troubles of the Roman Catholic church in America. His love for the church is clear. His understanding of the human/political dimension in such issues as sexuality, the priesthood, liturgy, catechesis, and leadership is also clear. The synthesis he offers is a breath of fresh air that inserts itself between the cynicism offered by the media and the overly confident, and possibly power-focused, assertions by the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

He occasionally ignores the powerful lessons to be learned from our Protestant brothers and sisters. His hypotheses may not be comfortable for deeply right-leaning Americans. But he bases his ideas on scripture, psychology and the lived experience of Catholics.

I am a former member of a parish that was suppressed by the Boston Archdiocese. I am grieving. But Peter Steinfels explains many of our problems in the American Church. Against all my expectations, he gives me hope.
 

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