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The Struggle for Celibacy: The Culture of Catholic Seminary Life [Paperback]

By Paul Stanosz (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   280
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.22" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2006
Publisher   The Crossroad Publishing Company
ISBN  0824523814  
EAN  9780824523817  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Whether people defend or attack it, celibacy remains one of the most controversial and least understood aspects of Catholic priestly life. In this careful study, Fr. Paul Stanosz gives us a fresh approach to the issue. By interviewing seminarians and their instructors, he shows the variety of reasons that young men are drawn to priesthood and celibacy. He also makes us aware of the tremendous challenges such men face once they leave the supportive environment of their seminary community to begin their lives as diocesan priests.

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Rev. Paul Stanosz is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and holds a doctorate in sociology from Fordham University. This 2006 book focuses on the environment in seminary, and is based on interviews with many seminarians and their instructors. Stanosz states in the Introduction, "Readers looking for a staunch defense of celibacy or an easy re-buking of the practice will likely be disappointed. I do hope readers will understand those who undertake the asceticism, as well as some of the consequences of its practice in the Church today."

Stanosz states that "It is the contention of this study that seminary formation is a form of professional socialization that seeks to immerse students in Catholic culture (or various versions of it) and that students and faculty use culture in various ways to make and legitimate their decisions and actions. Stanosz also includes a great deal of information about the details of seminary life: e.g., the daily schedule, etc.

Since the 2002 revelations about clerical sexual abuse, the Catholic Church has tightened up on its policy toward admission of homosexuals. However, Stanosz notes, "I believe that gay men who promise to live celibately and agree not to publicly identify themselves as gay are likely to continue to be admitted to U.S. seminaries." (He quotes a newspaper investigation that stated that there have been more than 300 AIDS-related deaths of priests.)

Stanosz quotes a homiletics professor as saying, "more than half of the priests ordained twenty years ago or fewer are gay.... many priests are sexually active in one way or another. To me that is relevant data that somehow needs to be part of the formation process."

He strongly criticizes Michael Rose's interesting and famous book, Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church, which "paints a picture of U.S. seminaries rife with sexual impropriety and theological dissent. He described these seminaries as places where students are open about and even flaunt their homosexuality and sexual activity." Stanosz comments, "This was not at all the case at St. Mark's. While several students acknowledged past dating and romantic and sexual activity, none identified themselves as homosexuals."

This is a provocative and interesting book that will be of considerable interest to anyone interested in the Catholic priesthood.

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