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The Reform of the Papacy
Catholic Press Award Winner!
The Reform of the Papacy
The Costly Call to Christian Unity
In this influential bestseller, John R. Quinn, who served as archbishop of San Francisco, makes a bold and persuasive case for reform within the Catholic church, particularly of the policies and procedures of the Roman Curia.
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI sent shock waves through the Catholic church and the world. As the faithful try to make sense of the new developments in Catholicism, many feel that established hierarchies should be reevaluated and reformed.
John R. Quinn's discerning discussion brings information and insight to the controversial topic of papal reform. Stemming from Pope John Paul II's call for dialogue on the office of the papacy, Quinn's inquiry is rooted in a devout consideration of the true mission of the Catholic church.
An award-winning and timely examination of future of the papal office.
Reviews and endorsements
“The Reform of the Papacy is an important book, one certain to be controversial within and without the Roman Catholic Church, above all controversial within the episcopacy in the United States and abroad . . . Quinn gives us a clear, methodical, careful and interesting text based on personal experience, thorough study and genuine concern for the church.”
“Anglicans and all others who yearn for the Church’s unity will find much to ponder and applaud here. They will welcome Quinn’s view that the experiences, procedures and politics of other churches have much to teach the Roman Church about structuring collegiality, subsidiarity and legitimate diversity. They will particularly welcome his recognition that the Roman Catholic Church will have to reform the papacy substantially before other Christians will be able to accept the ministry of the Bishop of Rome without fearing the loss of their spiritual heritage and legitimate prerogatives.”
—Anglican Theological Review
“Radical yet reasonable proposals about the appointment of bishops, the election of the pope, and the organization and staffing of the papal curia . . . An excellent contribution to a dialogue which must continue, especially among those electing the next pope.”
—St. Anthony Messenger Press
“Archbishop Quinn has written a good readable argument for changes in the way we do things at the top. Although he writes in respectful tones, the archbishop nevertheless strongly points out the failings of the papal-curial management of the Church and makes suggestions for changes that could give the people a feeling that they are truly brothers in Christ and not just pray-and-pay pawns in Vatican politics . . . It provides solid material for parish and diocesan discussion."
“Quinn is acutely aware of history and utilizes both the past and his own experiences to buttress his critique. These responses to the Pope’s invitation demonstrate a great sense of loyalty, undergirded with a clear message.”
“In his usual elegant but cautious style, Quinn takes seriously Pope John Paul II’s request that there be dialogue on how we could change the way he functions as pope, so that the papacy would become less of an obstacle to the ecumenical movement . . . Because of the serious way Quinn treats his material and the thoughtfulness and respect with which it is presented, I feel that this book will be much quoted for decades to come, somewhat like Cardinal Newman’s On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine.”
“The Reform of the Papacy is a radical book, in that its proposals could have far-reaching effect. It is also radical because it goes to the root, the radix . . . It is also a conservative, traditional book. Quinn grounds virtually every argument in older, longer traditions than those relied upon by self-protective members of the curia, counselors to the pope who downgrade bishops and frustrate expressions of collegiality, or those who would restore some pre-Vatican II concepts that isolate and elevate the pope.”
“A refreshingly candid book by an intelligent, experienced, and very knowledgeable churchman . . . It deserves to be read by everyone who cares about church reform or ecumenism. It is well written and clearly organized. It provides helpful explanations of many technical terms in footnotes, and it includes a good index.”
—New Theology Review
“Anyone interested in the papacy should read this book. Drawing on his personal experience . . . [Quinn) advocates [for] decentralization, legitimate diversity, and reform in the Roman Curia. Clear, balanced, and constructive, his insights will stimulate fruitful dialogue.”
—Patrick Granfield, theology professor, The Catholic University of America
“It is altogether excellent work, fully informed theologically and historically, with very sound ideas clearly articulated in an irenic and totally constructive spirit.”
—Richard F. Costigan, S.J., Loyola University, Boston
“Quinn’s agenda is essential ecumenical conversation alongside the more theoretical work of ARCIS.”
“One of the most important books on the role of the papacy in achieving Christian unity.”
—Fr. Louis Trivison