Clericalism: The Death of Priesthood
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Expected to ship on or about 01/08/19.
Stock No: WW629451
Liturgical Press / 2008 / Paperback

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Clericalism: The Death of Priesthood

Liturgical Press / 2008 / Paperback

Expected to ship on or about 01/08/19.
Stock No: WW629451

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Product Description

Searching for answers in the midst of the sexual abuse crisis in the church, many blamed the "clerical culture." But what exactly is this clerical culture? We may know it when we see it, but how can we-whether clergy or laypeople-go about dismantling it and putting in place a new, healthy culture? George Wilson has spent decades working with organizations to help them discover, and often recover, their foundational calling. He is also a Jesuit priest engaged in the lives of congregations. In Clericalism: The Death of Priesthood he brings together both capacities and gives his sense of the challenges facing the church.
As members of the church, Wilson maintains, we are all responsible for creating a clerical culture. And we are also responsible for that culture's transformation. Clericalism aids this transformation by helping us examine some underlying attitudes that create and preserve destructive relationships between ordained and laity. After looking at the crisis and establishing where we are now, this book challenges us with concrete suggestions for changing behaviors. We are lay and ordained, but all baptized into the royal priesthood of 1 Peter 2:9, all called to spread the Gospel and do the work of God's love in the world. Ultimately, this is a hopeful book, looking for the restoration of a genuine priesthood, free of clericalism, in which we become truly united in Christ.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 0814629458
ISBN-13: 9780814629451

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Author Bio

George B. Wilson, SJ, is an ecclesiologist and organizational facilitator. His other books are Blessing Prayers and Church Leadership: Training in the Ethical Use of Power (Treehaus Communications) and Patches ( His articles can be accessed at

Editorial Reviews

Instructive, challenging and even moving in its depth of insight and hope.

Fr. Wilson has done a valuable service for us in writing this book and I recommend it highly to pastors, religious and laity alike. Wilson brings not only an extensive experience in organizational systems, but also brings wisdom and pastoral sensitivity that make this book one that your will come back to.

In this beautifully written and insightful book, Father Wilson explores the clerical culture that has led to, among other things, the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and what we might all do to bring about a healthy transformation in the Church.
Catholic Digest

. . . insightful and practical. I continue to reflect on his definitions and strategies for conversion. He set out to help us rethink our understandings and usage of the common terms that describe our ministers. He succeeded.
Seattle Theology and Ministry Review

I cannot recommend this book too highly to the widest possible readership for the rejuvenation of all of us who, like it or not, are involved by our baptism in the priesthood of Christ.
The Way

This is a book that should be read and discussed by Catholics in the pews, priests, and those who aspire to be priests.
Catholic Books Review

If Wilson’s work reminds us that there is no cheap grace, no casual way to overcome the deleterious effects of clerical culture, it reminds us also that there is grace, that there is hope. The grace and hope are gifts, but the appropriation of them is a project, a project for us all. In identifying the need for, the possibility of, and the steps to such an appropriation, George Wilson’s book offers a significant service not simply to the church’s ordained priesthood, but to the mission of the church in the world.
The Australasian Catholic Record

This very readable book offers much food for thought and discussion especially for mixed groups of ordained and laypersons who need to work in tandem if cultural transformation is to take place.
Prairie Messenger

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