Laws of Heaven: Catholic Activists Today

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9780899199825: Laws of Heaven: Catholic Activists Today

A series of profiles describing modern heroes shows how much some Catholic activists have been willing to sacrifice for their beliefs in such issues as the situation in Central America, the death penalty, nuclear weapons, and others. 10,000 first printing. Tour.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The impassioned, sometimes holy, sometimes holier-than-thou world of Catholic political activists. Catholic moral theology has in recent years evolved a quasi- revolutionary ethical stance known as the ``seamless garment.'' Based on the principle that all life is sacred, this ethic is uncompromisingly anti-war, anti-capital punishment, and anti- abortion--a viewpoint that puts its adherents into frequent conflict with federal laws. Thus these portraits of men and women who, with few exceptions, have spent much time in prison in pursuit of religious ideals. Former Jesuit seminarian Gallagher, a free- lance journalist and translator of Japanese novels, has done considerable legwork and assembled a striking gallery of protestors. Some, like old-time pacifist Gordon Zahn, seem granite monuments of moral integrity; others, like anti-abortion activist Joan Andrews, have the intensity of Joan of Arc. The brothers Berrigan are familiar faces, joined here by lesser-known Pentagon- baiters like Marcia Timmel and Paul Magnus. ``Rebel priest'' Bob Begin applauds John Paul II's call for a postcapitalist, postsocialist economic system; others heap contempt on the Vatican hierarchy. Archbishops, nuns, stockbrokers, homemakers add to the mix, which is memorable for its moral rectitude. At times, though, righteousness becomes self-righteousness, not least in Gallagher's sarcastic, sometimes ad hominem attacks on the media and on Catholic thinkers with whom he disagrees. A thumbtack on the chair seat for moral equivocators, whatever their faith. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

This gently probing examination of personal commitment profiles 15 Americans whose practice of Catholicism has placed them at odds with church and country. Among the activists are Philip Berrigan and his wife, Elizabeth McAlister, two well-known proponents of civil disobedience techniques and members of the Catholic peace movement. Others who have taken a public stance against American nuclear armaments and support of repressive regimes in Central and South America include Raymond G. Hunthausen, the beleaguered archbishop of Seattle (now retired), whose anti-government position and gay-rights advocacy evoked church censure; William P. Ford, who continues to seek justice in the case of his sister, a Maryknoll nun murdered in El Salvador; and Gordon Zahn, a tireless spokesman for pacifism whose rejection of civil disobedience makes him a target for criticism from radicals as well as conservatives. The author, a former Jesuit seminarian and now a contributor to Commonweal and a professor at John Carroll University in Cleveland, sees these men and women, who follow their own lights in putting their faith into practice, as emblematic of contradictions among American Catholics.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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