Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church

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9781594037023: Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church
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In the wake of the clergy abuse scandal of the last decade, many media commentators predicted the end” of the Catholic priesthood. Demands for an end to celibacy, coupled with calls for women’s ordination, dominated discussions on the effectiveness of the Catholic Church in America. Renewal argues that rather than a decline of the priesthood and a diminishing influence of the Catholic Church, we are living in a time of transformation and revitalization. The aging generation of progressives that continues to lobby Church leaders to change Catholic teachings on reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and women's ordination is being replaced by younger men and women who are attracted to the Church because of the very timelessness of its teachings.

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About the Author:

Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Previously, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at The King’s College in New York City. She moved to The King’s College in 2008 after spending more than 15 years as a tenured full-professor of sociology at the University of San Diego. She received her PhD in Sociology at Kent State University in 1988, and was the James Madison Fellow at Princeton University in 2005. A frequent contributor to popular press outlets including Catholic World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Crisis, and others, she publishes frequently on issues of importance within the Catholic Church. She is the author of five previous books including Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education (Transaction, 2009), The Politics of Deviance (Encounter Books, 2002), The Politics of Abortion (Encounter Books, 2006), The Reluctant Caregivers (Bergin and Garvey, 2000), and Moving for Work (University Press of America, 1994).

Christopher White is the Director of Education and Programs at the Center for Bioethics and Culture. He writes frequently on matters of public policy and social ethics, and is a regular contributor to many print and online publications, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Review Online, Catholic World Report, Human Life Review, First Things, Public Discourse, and the National Catholic Register. He was awarded a 2013-2014 Robert Novak Fellowship. He lives in New York City.

Review:

"Contrary to those who opine that the Catholic Church cannot attract a new generation to its pews without modernizing its traditional teachings, the authors argue that it is precisely a robust orthodox defense of the faith that wins the hearts of young people and begets vocations. This book is full of hope and encouragement for the future of the church."
--William E. Simon, Jr., professor, author, philanthropist, and businessman 

"All too often we Catholics can have a utilitarian approach to priests and bishops. Renewal is about gratitude. There are good and holy priests in our midst, serving Christ, teaching the faith, sacrificing for the salvation of souls. Praying for us! Pray for them! Be encouraged and work with them, in union with our Heavenly Father, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is an important snapshot of a beautiful counterculture, a recovering fatherhood. Renewal, indeed.
--Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor-at-large of National Review Online & director of Catholic Voices USA

"This is the most fully detailed and documented account of the culture wars within the Catholic Church that anyone is likely to encounter. Some may think the authors are too pessimistic, stressing all the contentiousness within the living body. Count me as one who holds that public contestation is the reliable sign of vital cultures and inspiring institutions. Both the bad news, honestly reported, and the 'less expected' good news here will make many readers rejoice."
--Michael Novak, author of Writing from Left to Right

"Hendershott and White are clear-eyed observers of the Catholic scene who offer the reader careful sociological analysis that leads to truly hopeful conclusions. Citing empirical and anecdotal evidence, they show the positive change the Church has been undergoing for some time--especially with the emergence of strong new leadership in the clergy--and they preview the Church we can expect our children and grandchildren to know. This book is real hope, without a hint of wishful thinking. I highly recommend Renewal.
--Scott Hahn, Professor of Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville

"In Renewal, Anne Hendershott and Christopher White bring to vivid life an unexpected and momentous truth: it is orthodoxy, not heterodoxy, that will write the future of Catholicism. Their wonderfully wrought and prescient book is must reading for serious people, both inside the Church and out."
--Mary Eberstadt, author of How the West Really Lost God and Adam and Eve after the Pill

I won't waste time laying down yet another list of crises that have diminished Catholicism over the last half century. But is the decline as bad as it seems? Well, that's actually not the right question, especially since the probable answer is: yes, it's that bad. The better question is: Can the decline be halted, even reversed? Well of course it can, and there is ample evidence that the turnaround is well underway, which evidence is presented with authority by Anne Hendershott and Christopher White.
- Brad Miner, The Catholic Thing

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