What God Hath Joined : the Real-Life Love Story That Shook the Catholic Church

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9780345382030: What God Hath Joined : the Real-Life Love Story That Shook the Catholic Church
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A former priest and his wife describe how he challenged the Catholic Church to reform the celibacy law governing priests

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About the Author:

Terrance A. Sweeney holds a Ph.D. in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and an M.A. in communications from Loyola Marymount University. He has written three other books: STREETS OF ANGER, STREETS OF HOPE; GOD &; and most recently A CHURCH DIVIDED. He has won five Emmy Awards as a television producer, and served as technical advisor on numerous productions, including "The Thorn Birds." He is a Trustee of the Humanitas Prize, Director of the Writers' Guild Workshops, and is a writer, producer and Educational Director for Paulist Productions.

Pamela Shoop Sweeney was educated at the University of Southern California and the Villa Mercede in Florence, Italy. An actress for 26 years, she has appeared in over 70 television shows, numerous stage plays, and five feature films. She is a Director of Good Tidings - a support group for priests and women in love; a member of ARCS - Achievement Rewards for College Scientists; the National Charity League, and the Screen Smart Set Motion Picture & Television Fund.

Pamela and Terry have formed a non-profit corporation called AMA DEUM, which in Latin means "Love God." It is their hope to restore the right to marry to Roman Catholic Priests.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A sentimental love story--from courtship to marriage--about a restless Jesuit priest and a successful but spiritually starved actress. In alternate chapters, Sweeney describes his struggles with the Church and Shoop explains how she waited for him to resolve them. Sweeney was no ordinary priest: He lived at L.A.'s Loyola Marymount University, had won five Emmys for his documentaries on L.A. street gangs, and was challenging the Church on female ordination, obedience, and the celibacy laws. Meanwhile, actress Shoop, between roles, visited Sweeney's church on New Year's Day 1984 and eventually became ``the other woman.'' As the priest tended to his duties (lovingly evoked here) and debated and equivocated over endless dinners, crises, and revelations, Shoop exhibited all the usual emotions of someone awaiting a loved one's divorce: patience, resentment, confusion, and loyalty. She devotes long passages to her father's memory; to what she wore (pale-pink, yellow, and black-lace panties); to what she didn't eat and what others did; to settings (lots of firelight and sunsets), stage directions (where people were sitting), and whatever music was playing at varied times. Sweeney's ministering to his own family- -despite his mother's denigration of him--is particularly interesting, as is the one scene that Shoop offers of her professional life: walking a tightrope for a circus scene in an episode of Murder, She Wrote. Sweeney--who's since left the priesthood--argues forcefully for abolishing celibacy laws that, he says, have no legitimacy and are depriving the Church of its most talented priests. The subject is timely, however treacly the style: a memoir very much in the manner and shadow of The Thorn Birds, on which Sweeney served as a technical advisor. (Eight page b&w photo insert--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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