Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress

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Raymond Schroth's Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress shows that the contentious mixture of religion and politics in this country is nothing new. Four decades ago, Father Robert Drinan, the fiery Jesuit priest from Massachusetts, not only demonstrated against the Vietnam War, he ran for Congress as an antiwar candidate and won, going on to serve for 10 years.

Schroth has delved through magazine and newspaper articles and various archives (including Drinan’s congressional records at Boston College, where he taught and also served as dean of the law school) and has interviewed dozens of those who knew Drinan to bring us a life-sized portrait. The result is a humanistic profile of an intensely private man and a glimpse into the life of a priest-politician who saw advocacy of human rights as his call.

Drinan defined himself as a “moral architect” and was quick to act on his convictions, whether from the bully pulpit of the halls of Congress or from his position in the Church as a priest; to him they were as intricately woven as the clerical garb he continued to wear unapologetically throughout his elected tenure. Drinan’s opposition to the Vietnam War and its extension into Cambodia, his call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon (he served on the House Judiciary Committee, which initiated the charges), his pro-choice stance on abortion (legally, not morally), his passion for civil rights, and his devotion to Jewish people and the well-being of Israel made him one of the most liberal members of Congress and a force to be reckoned with. But his loyalty to the Church was never in question, and when Pope John Paul II demanded that he step down from offi ce, he did so unquestioningly. Afterward, he continued to champion the ideals he thought would make the world a better place. He didn’t think of it in terms of left and right; as moral architect, he saw it in terms of right and wrong.

This important book doesn’t resolve debate about issues of church and state, but it does help us understand how one side can inform the other, if we are listening. It has much to say that is worth hearing.

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About the Author:

Raymond A. Schroth, S.J., is editor of Conversations, the magazine for American Jesuit colleges and universities. Previously Professor of Humanities at St. Peter’s College, has been affiliated with five Jesuit colleges and universities; is the author of eight other books, including Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress (Fordham) and Fordham: A History and Memoir, Revised Edition (Fordham); and has been an editor and columnist for America, Commonweal, and The National Catholic Reporter.

Review:

When asked why he wore his clerical collar in Congress, Bob Drinan would quip “It’s the only suit I own.” Ray Schroth, in this meticulously researched and highly readable biography, illuminates the man and the quip. How could Drinan answer questions about matching partisan politics and priestly calling? This was not a unique problem for an unusual Jesuit. Drinan’s life displays the complexity of the modern priesthood. How to realize Catholic morality in the public square, nurture personal spirituality, live out intimate human relations with family, friends and colleagues. Bob Drinan faced all these issues with success and loss and notable loneliness. (―Dennis O'Brien President emeritus, University of Rochester)

Schroth sketches a nuanced portrait of a man who found his calling early in life, never let the fire of his belief die, and who challenged his country and his church to live up to the ideals of their founders. (―John Olinger National Catholic Reporter)

As a young reporter in the 1960s I covered many demonstrations and press conferences where Father Drinan was conspicuous by his presence and his strong words, and for a number of years thereafter Ray Schroth was one of my editors at Commonweal. From both I learned much about the way a church can make itself felt in the world. Ray's life of Drinan has the strengths of both men -- crisp writing, serious purpose, and a warm instinct for what matters. (―Tom Powers)

. . . A volume that illuminates from within the many faces of Bob Drinan's life and character. Its probing and intimate honesty is balanced by the delicate complexity and deeper understanding that emerges when a person's decisions, choices, and life trajectory are placed against the backdrop of history. (―The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics)

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9780823233045: Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress

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ISBN 10:  0823233049 ISBN 13:  9780823233045
Publisher: Fordham University Press, 2010
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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Raymond Schroth s Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress shows that the contentious mixture of religion and politics in this country is nothing new. Four decades ago, Father Robert Drinan, the fiery Jesuit priest from Massachusetts, not only demonstrated against the Vietnam War, he ran for Congress as an antiwar candidate and won, going on to serve for 10 years. Schroth has delved through magazine and newspaper articles and various archives (including Drinan s congressional records at Boston College, where he taught and also served as dean of the law school) and has interviewed dozens of those who knew Drinan to bring us a life-sized portrait. The result is a humanistic profile of an intensely private man and a glimpse into the life of a priest-politician who saw advocacy of human rights as his call. Drinan defined himself as a moral architect and was quick to act on his convictions, whether from the bully pulpit of the halls of Congress or from his position in the Church as a priest; to him they were as intricately woven as the clerical garb he continued to wear unapologetically throughout his elected tenure. Drinan s opposition to the Vietnam War and its extension into Cambodia, his call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon (he served on the House Judiciary Committee, which initiated the charges), his pro-choice stance on abortion (legally, not morally), his passion for civil rights, and his devotion to Jewish people and the well-being of Israel made him one of the most liberal members of Congress and a force to be reckoned with. But his loyalty to the Church was never in question, and when Pope John Paul II demanded that he step down from offi ce, he did so unquestioningly. Afterward, he continued to champion the ideals he thought would make the world a better place. He didn t think of it in terms of left and right; as moral architect, he saw it in terms of right and wrong. This important book doesn t resolve debate about issues of church and state, but it does help us understand how one side can inform the other, if we are listening. It has much to say that is worth hearing. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780823233052

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Raymond Schroth's Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress shows that the contentious mixture of religion and politics in this country is nothing new. Four decades ago, Father Robert Drinan, the fiery Jesuit priest from Massachusetts, not only demonstrated against the Vietnam War, he ran for Congress as an antiwar candidate and won, going on to serve for 10 years. Schroth has delved through magazine and newspaper articles and various archives (including Drinan's congressional records at Boston College, where he taught and also served as dean of the law school) and has interviewed dozens of those who knew Drinan to bring us a life-sized portrait. The result is a humanistic profile of an intensely private man and a glimpse into the life of a priest-politician who saw advocacy of human rights as his call. Drinan defined himself as a "moral architect" and was quick to act on his convictions, whether from the bully pulpit of the halls of Congress or from his position in the Church as a priest; to him they were as intricately woven as the clerical garb he continued to wear unapologetically throughout his elected tenure. Drinan's opposition to the Vietnam War and its extension into Cambodia, his call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon (he served on the House Judiciary Committee, which initiated the charges), his pro-choice stance on abortion (legally, not morally), his passion for civil rights, and his devotion to Jewish people and the well-being of Israel made him one of the most liberal members of Congress and a force to be reckoned with. But his loyalty to the Church was never in question, and when Pope John Paul II demanded that he step down from offi ce, he did so unquestioningly. Afterward, he continued to champion the ideals he thought would make the world a better place. He didn't think of it in terms of left and right; as moral architect, he saw it in terms of right and wrong.This important book doesn't resolve debate about issues of church and state, but it does help us understand how one side can inform the other, if we are listening. It has much to say that is worth hearing. Seller Inventory # BTE9780823233052

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Raymond Schroth's Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress shows that the contentious mixture of religion and politics in this country is nothing new. Four decades ago, Father Robert Drinan, the fiery Jesuit priest from Massachusetts, not only demonstrated against the Vietnam War, he ran for Congress as an antiwar candidate and won, going on to serve for 10 years. Schroth has delved through magazine and newspaper articles and various archives (including Drinan's congressional records at Boston College, where he taught and also served as dean of the law school) and has interviewed dozens of those who knew Drinan to bring us a life-sized portrait. The result is a humanistic profile of an intensely private man and a glimpse into the life of a priest-politician who saw advocacy of human rights as his call. Drinan defined himself as a "moral architect" and was quick to act on his convictions, whether from the bully pulpit of the halls of Congress or from his position in the Church as a priest; to him they were as intricately woven as the clerical garb he continued to wear unapologetically throughout his elected tenure. Drinan's opposition to the Vietnam War and its extension into Cambodia, his call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon (he served on the House Judiciary Committee, which initiated the charges), his pro-choice stance on abortion (legally, not morally), his passion for civil rights, and his devotion to Jewish people and the well-being of Israel made him one of the most liberal members of Congress and a force to be reckoned with. But his loyalty to the Church was never in question, and when Pope John Paul II demanded that he step down from offi ce, he did so unquestioningly. Afterward, he continued to champion the ideals he thought would make the world a better place. He didn't think of it in terms of left and right; as moral architect, he saw it in terms of right and wrong.This important book doesn't resolve debate about issues of church and state, but it does help us understand how one side can inform the other, if we are listening. It has much to say that is worth hearing. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780823233052

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