FASHION ME A PEOPLE by Eugene Kennedy
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By any reasonable standards--i.e, by those of flexibility, service, and responsibility--it would be difficult to maintain that the Catholic Church, as an institution, is mature. Indeed, Father Kennedy maintains quite the contrary; that the Church lacks maturity, and that it risks not only irrelevance but also obsolescence unless something is done very quickly. Working on the premise that the Church is the ""people of God""--i.e., composed of individuals, be they laymen, priests, bishops, or popes--Kennedy points out that institutional maturity can be attained only as a consequence of maturity at the level of the individual. Examining every vocational state within the Church, he finds much that is awry, particularly in the areas where the exercise of individual responsibility, and therefore of individual freedom, is circumscribed, if not entirely precluded, by a tradition of authoritarianism on one hand and that of subservience on the other. The remedies which Kennedy prescribes--e.g., substitution of the concept of service for that of unrestricted authority, and willingness by the individual to accept personal responsibility for one's actions and their implications--are not new, and neither are the problems which he records. The worth of the book, nonetheless, is twofold: first, Father Kennedy's authority and reputation as a distinguished psychologist gives the book a weight which will assure its acceptance by responsible Christians; and second, the book is one of the few on the subject that may called constructive."" There will certainly be wide review attention and a comparatively large sale in the Catholic market.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1967
Publisher: Sheed & Ward