A Crisis of Conscience: A Catholic Doctor Speaks Out for Reform

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9781559721622: A Crisis of Conscience: A Catholic Doctor Speaks Out for Reform
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Finding that the Catholic Church's position clashed with his profession and some of his own views, a deeply devout doctor, still committed to his spirituality, offers his opinions on such issues as abortion, divorce, women priests, and birth control.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Hotheaded, ill-mannered attack against the Catholic Church, by a disaffected doctor. Barber (director of obstetrics and gynecology at Lenox Hill Hospital in N.Y.C.) grew up a faithful Catholic. His rebellion against the Church hierarchy came when the archdiocese of New York blocked the hiring, at a Catholic-affiliated hospital, of a doctor with controversial views on abortion. As time passed, Barber's alienation ripened, culminating in this bitter manifesto. When dealing with subjects within his professional competence, such as abortion, contraception, and other quasi-medical issues, Barber's views carry weight. More often, however, he wanders far afield and invariably takes the low road, offering little beyond anger and contempt. Unlike such dissenters as Hans K ng or Charles Curran, who present a serious critique of Catholic doctrine with a firm grasp of the theology involved, Barber revels in crude generalizations (``The Catholic Church has always ruled by fear''), skewed history (the Nicene Creed asserts that ``Jesus came down from heaven for men, not for women''), ad hominem arguments (the Pope travels to soak in ``the cheers of foreign idolaters''), and name-calling (Church doctrine is ``pathological'') that sound strikingly like anti-Catholic bigotry from centuries past. The author aims his buckshot at every imaginable Church position, including papal infallibility, priestly celibacy, divorce, euthanasia, liberation theology, separation of church and state, and the role of women. His solution to all this perceived heinousness? He intends to ``bring the Vatican to its knees'' through economic boycott, forcing a Third Vatican Council that will institute a papacy akin to the US presidency, with direct election of bishops by the laity, and of the pope by bishops (Barber is devoting part of his royalties to a ``World Committee for Vatican Three''). Not likely to be favorite bedtime reading for John Paul II--or for anyone who believes in mature debate. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

In an anecdotal, wide-ranging polemic, a Catholic doctor explores his departures from current Church teachings. Barber was formerly staunch and even rigid in his obedience to Catholic moral teachings; as an intern in the 1940s, he refused to work in the hospital's contraception clinic, nor would he scrub on either abortions (legal, at that time, to save a mother's life) or tubal ligations. By 1962, when he was appointed director of obstetrics and gynecology at Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital, he was outspoken in his opposition to liberalizing abortion law. In the '80s, however, when the New York archdiocese refused to appoint a favored candidate to the faculty of a church-affiliated medical school, Barber came to believe that, "where my religion might always be right, the Church might well be wrong." Despite some extravagant claims, among them that he speaks for "the majority of the 600 million Catholics who are denied a dialogue with the male hierarchy of the Church," Barber presents an ambitious agenda for change, with thoughtful views on such explosive issues as clerical celibacy, divorce, Catholic feminism and abortion.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780517131893: A Crisis of Conscience

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ISBN 10:  0517131897 ISBN 13:  9780517131893
Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, 1994
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