The Priestly Sins: A Novel

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Not since his runaway bestseller, The Cardinal Sins, has Father Andrew M. Greeley written such a searing and topical novel about the state of the Catholic Church.

The Priestly Sins tells the story of Father Herman Hoffman, a gifted and innocent young man from the distant prairies of the Great Plains. In the first summer of his first parish appointment, Hoffman is swept up in The Crisis after witnessing child abuse in the parish rectory. He tells the pastor, the father of the victim, and the local police but is rebuffed by the archbishop. Soon he is vilified for denouncing a priest who has been "cleared" by the police and learns the harsh fate of the whistle-blower in the contemporary Catholic church: He is locked up in a mental-health center and then sent into exile to do graduate study.

In Chicago to study immigrant history, he encounters the local "Vicar for Extern Priests," the legendary Monsignor Blackie Ryan, who helps him regain his confidence. Hoffman returns home to demand a parish of his own from the archbishop. Reluctantly, the church hierarchy assigns him to a dying parish, but by his zeal and charm Hoffman revives the local church. His brief idyll is shattered by a subpoena to testify in a court hearing. If he speaks, he will have to take on the "downtown" establishment that is determined to destroy him and many of his fellow priests who want to be rid of this painful reminder of a sinful past. Hoffman faces exile not only from his parish, but from the priesthood itself.

Writing from the author's fifty years of experience as a priest, The Priestly Sins will be criticized by some but embraced by most as an all-too-candid story of all-too-human priests. The Priestly Sins is Father Greeley's most electrifying novel in three decades, a novel sure to rise up the bestseller lists.



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About the author

Priest, sociologist, author and journalist, Father Andrew M. Greeley built an international assemblage of devout fans over a career spanning five decades. His books include the Bishop Blackie Ryan novels, including The Archbishop in Andalusia, the Nuala Anne McGrail novels, including Irish Tweed, and The Cardinal Virtues. He was the author of over 50 best-selling novels and more than 100 works of non-fiction, and his writing has been translated into 12 languages.

Father Greeley was a Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona and a Research Associate with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. In addition to scholarly studies and popular fiction, for many years he penned a weekly column appearing in the Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers. He was also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, the National Catholic Reporter, America and Commonweal, and was interviewed regularly on national radio and television. He authored hundreds of articles on sociological topics, ranging from school desegregation to elder sex to politics and the environment.

Throughout his priesthood, Father Greeley unflinchingly urged his beloved Church to become more responsive to evolving concerns of Catholics everywhere. His clear writing style, consistent themes and celebrity stature made him a leading spokesperson for generations of Catholics. He chronicled his service to the Church in two autobiographies, Confessions of a Parish Priest and Furthermore!

In 1986, Father Greeley established a $1 million Catholic Inner-City School Fund, providing scholarships and financial support to schools in the Chicago Archdiocese with a minority student body of more than 50 percent. In 1984, he contributed a $1 million endowment to establish a chair in Roman Catholic Studies at the University of Chicago. He also funded an annual lecture series, "The Church in Society," at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois, from which he received his S.T.L. in 1954.
Father Greeley received many honors and awards, including honorary degrees from the National University of Ireland at Galway, the University of Arizona and Bard College. A Chicago native, he earned his M.A. in 1961 and his Ph.D. in 1962 from the University of Chicago.
Father Greeley was a penetrating student of popular culture, deeply engaged with the world around him, and a lifelong Chicago sports fan, cheering for the Bulls, Bears and the Cubs. Born in 1928, he died in May 2013 at the age of 85.

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Publisher
Forge Books
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Published on
Apr 1, 2007
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781429912389
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Religious
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The perils of wartime add special urgency to latest mysteries being investigated by Nuala Anne McGrail and her adoring husband, Dermot Coyne. More than a little fey, Nuala has a well-deserved reputation for getting to the bottom of even the most tangled intrigues, even when they may be taking place on the other side of the world.

Desmond Doolin, an idealistic young man from their West Side Chicago neighborhood, has gone missing in Iraq. Having flown off to the Middle East in the name of peace, he hasn't been heard of since. The U.S. government denies any knowledge of his whereabouts, and his grieving family has all but written him off as dead, but Nuala is convinced that there's more to the story . . . and herself won't stop asking questions until she finds out what has really become of Desmond, one way or another.

Meanwhile, a parallel investigation uncovers the story of another young man abroad in dangerous times. Poking around in the past, Dermot and Nuala happen upon the memoirs of Timothy Patrick Clarke, the Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany, who risked his life for the sake of a beautiful German widow . . . and a secret plot to kill Adolf Hitler.

Working together as always, Nuala and her husband find themselves engrossed in the secrets of the past, the present, and two very different wars.

Irish Linen is another captivating installment in a series that Publishers Weekly calls "immensely entertaining."


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How, a mere generation after Vatican Council II initiated the biggest reform since the Reformation, can the Catholic Church be in such deep trouble? The question resonates through this new book by Andrew Greeley, the most recognized, respected, and influential commentator on American Catholic life. A timely and much-needed review of forty years of Church history, The Catholic Revolution offers a genuinely new interpretation of the complex and radical shift in American Catholic attitudes since the second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

Drawing on a wealth of data collected over the last thirty years, Greeley points to a rift between the higher and lower orders in the Church that began in the wake of Vatican Council II—when bishops, euphoric in their (temporary) freedom from the obstructions of the Roman Curia, introduced modest changes that nonetheless proved too much for still-rigid structures of Catholicism: the "new wine" burst the "old wineskins." As the Church leadership tried to reimpose the old order, clergy and the laity, newly persuaded that "unchangeable" Catholicism could in fact change, began to make their own reforms, sweeping away the old "rules" that no longer made sense. The revolution that Greeley describes brought about changes that continue to reverberate—in a chasm between leadership and laity, and in a whole generation of Catholics who have become Catholic on their own terms.

Coming at a time of crisis and doubt for the Catholic Church, this richly detailed, deeply thoughtful analysis brings light and clarity to the years of turmoil that have shaken the foundations, if not the faith, of American Catholics.
Most sociologists of religion describe a general decline in religious faith and practice in Europe over the last two centuries. The secularizing forces of the Enlightenment, science, industrialization, the influence of Freud and Marx, and urbanization are all felt to have diminished the power of the churches and demystified the human condition. In Andrew Greeley's view, such overarching theories and frameworks do not begin to accommodate a wide variety of contrasting and contrary social phenomena. Religion at the End of the Second Millenium, engages the complexities of contemporary Europe to present a nuanced picture of religious faith rising, declining, or remaining stable.

While challenging the secularization model, Greeley's approach is not polemical. He examines belief in God and in life after death, belief in superstition and magic, convictions about the relations between church and state, attitudes toward religion and science, and the effect of religion on the everyday lives of people. Drawing upon statistical and empirical data spanning twenty years, Greeley shows that while religion has increased in some countries (most notably the former communist countries and especially Russia) in others it has declined (Britain, the Netherlands, and France). In some countries it is relatively unchanged (primarily the traditional Catholic countries), and in still others (some of the social democratic countries) it has both declined and increased. In terms of individuals, Greeley finds that religion becomes more important to people as they age. He observes that surveys showing less religion among the young ignore the possibility that the age correlation is a life cycle matter and not a sign of social change.

Patently, religion in Europe changed enormously between the end of the first millenium and the end of the second. In Greeley's judgment, the change has been an improvement, not because superstition has been eliminated (it has not), but because freedom to exercise religious belief has replaced compulsion.

The religious imagination is alive and well in the movies. Contrary to those who criticize Hollywood, popular movies very often have metaphorically represented God on the screen. From Clint Eastwood as an avenging angel in "Pale Rider and "Nicolas Cage as a love-sick angel in "City of Angels, "to Jessica Lange as an angel of death in "All That Jazz, "and from George Burns as God in "Oh God! "to Audrey Hepburn in "Alwaysto "pure white light in "Fearless "and "Flatliners, "God is very much present in the movies. Images of angels and God used by movie makers are explored here.

This intelligent, insightful volume is an exercise in urban anthropology. Religious imagination is the subject and the movie house is its location. The authors show that the religious imagination is irrepressible, and shows up in our best-known example of popular cultures, movies. Contrary to conservative opinion that suggests that Hollywood is anti-religious, Greeley and Bergesen find just the opposite. Ordinary movies, not explicitly about religion and not made by particularly religious individuals often demonstrate some basic religious theme, point, or message. "God in the Movies "does not judge or approve, recommend or criticize; the authors simply alert the reader to the great variety of metaphors for God, angels, heaven, and hell, from beautiful women to white light at the end of the tunnel to Groundhog Day. They are not concerned with explicitly religious movies. This is not a study of "Ben Huror The Last Temptations of Christ, "but rather of ordinary mass-release movies, including "Field of Dreams, Always, All That Jazz, Commandments, Babette's Feast, Fearless, Breaking the Waves, Jacob's Ladder, Flatliners, Ghost, Pale Rider, Star Wars, 2001, Dogma, "and even Japanimation, like "Ghost in the Shell."

The authors' vivid explication of various cinematic metaphors for God is accompanied by an analysis of what these movies tell about our sociological attitudes toward life and death. They also discuss the social conditions that give rise to various kinds of imagery and forms of movies. In a real sense, this book is for both the professional concerned with religion, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, media and cinema studies, and the layperson interested in how popular movies also contain religious imagery.

What might one expect to learn from a probability sample study of the Archdiocese of Chicago? Can one form a national portrait of Catholics in the United States from data about Chicago? Certainly, Chicago is unique in its judgments about its clergy. As the eminent Catholic sociologist Andrew M. Greeley argues, it is this very difference that makes rigorous comparisons between Chicago Catholics and other Catholic subpopulations possible. He suggests that history and geography provide a basis for understanding the development of the Catholic Church not just in this specific area, but also in the entire United States. The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago it composed of two counties, Lake and Cook. At the same time the Catholic population has been pushed up against the boundary of DuPage County by racial change in the city, so that much of the west and south side Catholic population of the city has moved into the southern and western suburbs. In this research area, half of the Catholics have attended college and half of those have attended graduate school. Thus, the conventional image of Chicago as a mix of ethnic immigrant neighborhoods has to be modified-although there are still many new immigrants attending special immigrant parishes. Greeley argues that the official church in Chicago, and by inference elsewhere, has not recognized the community structures that permeate the neighborhoods, that it does not grasp the religious stories that shape its peoples' identity, and it does not understand the intense, if selective, loyalty of the archdiocese to its leadership. As part of this argument, Greeley includes transcriptions of in-depth interviews with former Catholics. This study provides a fascinating window into the world of Catholicism in twenty-first century urban America.
Due to heightened global migration and transnational mobility, many residents of the world's cities lack national citizenship in the places to which they have moved for work, refuge, or retirement. The disjuncture between citizenship and daily life has led to devolution of claims from national to urban space. Within nation-states characterized by structured inequalities, citizens have not reduced their social differences. This leads increasingly to calls for greater direct involvement of marginalized classes in reshaping the institutions and spaces directly affecting their lives.These concerns—cities without citizenship and people without political power—inform the agendas of organizations that seek to restructure urban citizenship in more democratic directions. Remaking Urban Citizenship focuses on the uses and limits of such political organizations and coalitions, shows the various ways they pursue expanded rights within the city, and describes the institutional changes necessary to empower global migrants and popular classes as urban citizens.Offering individual or comparative case studies of cities in the United States, Europe, and China, contributions to this volume describe the development of actual practices of organizations working to reinvigorate citizenship at the urban scale. Collectively, they locate institutional forms that help migrants lay claim to their cities, show how migrants can become politically empowered, and identify how they can expand their rights or find other ways to belong.
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