THE EMERGING LAYMAN by Donald J. Thorman
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If this book were to be read sympathetically by but one third of the pastors of this country, the Catholic Church could be transformed quickly into the dynamic force for ""restoring all things in Christ"" intended by the Founder. Here is the voice of the ""silent"" laymen speaking out for the Church leaders to hear. It is protesting that the layman should not be ignored in the name of a long-buried fear of ""trusteeism"" of another period in the life of the Church, lest this situation create an apathy on the part of an intelligent laity which cannot lead anywhere but to complete detachment from the mission of Christ. The Church in the United States is potentially even more virile and strong than it is, but only in isolated areas is the potential being encouraged. Don Thorman, an active layman, social leader and analyst of this field, sees the layman's role as real and special, one which mediates between the Church and civil society. He feels that the laity is the only possible link between the spiritual and temporal orders. The layman, he thinks, has the only competence in the social apostolate -- the only one to bring the social teaching of the Church into the union, into the factory, into business and into politics. The ordering of the temporal life, be insists, is the role of the laity. All his positions are well documented with generous quotations from Cardinals, Bishops and especially from Pope John XXIII's great new encyclical, Mater et Magistra. The Emerging Layman is truly a sensible, reasoned, responsible, careful analysis of what is one of the burning problems within the Church in the United States. Don Thorman's book lays the groundwork and draws up a preliminary draft of the way in the United States to make Christ's message heard in all areas of human welfare. Every Catholic -- priests especially -- will gain a fresh and healthy outlook on the new Church in America by reading this book. The Thomas More and Catholic Book Clubs are distributing it to their members this summer. May it be read by at least one half million of the forty two million Catholics in the United States. This would be revolutionary, but so two million Catholics in the United States. This would be revolutionary, but so the results.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday