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Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Churchby George Weigel
Synopses & Reviews
The Catholic Church is on the threshold of a bold new era in its two-thousand year history. As the curtain comes down on the Church defined by the 16th-century Counter-Reformation, the curtain is rising on the Evangelical Catholicism of the third millennium: a way of being Catholic that comes from over a century of Catholic reform; a mission-centered renewal honed by the Second Vatican Council and given compelling expression by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
The Gospel-centered Evangelical Catholicism of the future will send all the people of the Church into mission territory every day—a territory increasingly defined in the West by spiritual boredom and aggressive secularism. Confronting both these cultural challenges and the shadows cast by recent Catholic history, Evangelical Catholicism unapologetically proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the truth of the world. It also molds disciples who witness to faith, hope, and love by the quality of their lives and the nobility of their aspirations. Thus the Catholicism of the 21stcentury and beyond will be a culture-forming counterculture, offering all men and women of good will a deeply humane alternative to the soul-stifling self-absorption of postmodernity.
Drawing on thirty years of experience throughout the Catholic world, from its humblest parishes to its highest levels of authority, George Weigel proposes a deepening of faith-based and mission-driven Catholic reform that touches every facet of Catholic life—from the episcopate and the papacy to the priesthood and the consecrated life; from the renewal of the lay vocation in the world to the redefinition of the Churchs engagement with public life; from the liturgy to the Churchs intellectual life. Lay Catholics and clergy alike should welcome the challenge of this unique moment in the Churchs history, Weigel urges. Mediocrity is not an option, and all Catholics, no matter what their station in life, are called to live the evangelical vocation into which they were baptized: without compromise, but with the joy, courage, and confidence that comes from living this side of the Resurrection.
The Catholic Church is on the threshold of a bold new era in its history. As the curtain comes down on the Church of the 16th-century Counter-Reformation, it rises on the Evangelical Catholicism of the third millennium: a way of being Catholic that will send the faithful into mission territory every day—a territory increasingly defined by spiritual boredom and aggressive secularism. In Evangelical Catholicism, Catholic theologian George Weigel proposes a program of faith-based reform that confronts these challenges head on. An urgent call to arms, Evangelical Catholicism reminds Catholics of the evangelical vocation into which they were baptized and of the joy and courage that comes from living on this side of the Resurrection.
The Catholic Church is entering a new era. The curtain is coming down on the Church defined by the 16th century Counter-Reformation, and a new Catholicism is taking the stage: Evangelical Catholicism, which confronts head-on the secular hostility of the postmodern age. Drawing on a century of reforms, eminent religious scholar George Weigel shows that the Church will flourish not by adapting to the reigning culture, but rather by reshaping it. In the process, the Church must also reshape itself, by reevaluating religious orders, reinvigorating lay organizations, and demanding more of its members.
A bold challenge to Catholics everywhere, Evangelical Catholicism calls on the clergy and laity alike to unapologetically spread the Gospel and cultivate a more forceful, unwavering practice of the faith.
About the Author
George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washingtons Ethics and Public Policy Center, is one of the worlds leading authorities on the Catholic Church. The author of more than twenty books, including the world-renowned, two-volume biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning, Weigel lives in North Bethesda, Maryland.
Table of Contents
Prologue: An Invitation to Evangelical Catholicism and Deep Catholic Reform
PART ONE: The Vision of Evangelical Catholicism
1. Ends and Beginnings
2. Truths and Consequences
3. Evangelical Catholicism in Profile
4. True Reform in the Church
PART TWO: The Reforms of Evangelical Catholicism
5. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of the Episcopate
6. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of the Priesthood
7. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of the Liturgy
8. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of Consecrated Life
9. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of the Lay Vocation
10. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of the Churchs Intellectual Life
11. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of the Churchs Public Policy Advocacy
12. The Evangelical Catholic Reform of the Papacy
Epilogue: Holiness and Mission
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
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