The Changing Face of the Priesthood, by Donald B. Cozzens

In his apostolic letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (1994), Pope John Paul II called upon Roman Catholics to prepare for the new millennium through an examination of conscience, an honest review of how Catholic Christians have betrayed the gospel and have caused harm even when acting in the name of Jesus Christ. While John Paul has publicly expressed regret and prayed for forgiveness for Catholics' past failings in certain areas, he and the staff of the Roman Curia have ruled other topics, notably many issues relating to the ministerial priesthood, out of bounds. Within official circles of the Catholic Church, ecclesial loyalty is often thought to mean a respectful silence regarding married, gay or sexually active priests, and the ordination of women. Others, such as Garry Wills in his best-selling book Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit, believe that loyalty demands honesty in examining not only past but also present institutional and personal failings.

 

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