Divine Disobedience : Profiles in Catholic Radicalism by Francine du Plessix Gray
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1970. Inscribed by Francine du Plessix Gray. First Edition. Stated. Hardcover. 322 pages ; 22 cm. $6.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Fading to cloth. Foxing to front and rear endpapers. Pages are unmarked. Binding firm.
Their commitment to Catholicism is total. Their conscientious rebellion sends tremors through the hierarchy of the Church, to which they are devoted. Their revolutionary action in the service of God confounds the secular establishment. Their voices speak directly to the young and the disinherited. The dissenting priests here brilliantly portrayed embody the radical thrust within the Roman Catholic Church today.
DAVID KIRK of Emmaus House. The "early Christian community" he founded in East Harlem—with its swinging liturgies, its work with addicts, its sanctuary for draft resisters, its ties with other "cells" in the Underground Church—was in 1967 considered the vanguard of the New Left...
THE BERRIGAN BROTHERS: DANIEL, poet-priest and Pied Piper to the young; PHILIP, worker-priest, pouring blood on draft files; both brothers, together, leading the Catonsville Nine, invading a Maryland Selective Service headquarters, putting its records to fire, standing trial, going joyously to prison...
IVAN ILLICH, aristocrat, intellectual, shepherd of the dispossessed. The inquisition to which he was subjected in the cellars of the Vatican in 1968, purportedly manipulated by a cabal of Latin American and other Church reactionaries. Their targets: Illich's "de-Yankeefication" training center for missionaries in Cuernavaca —and his courageous sponsor, the Mexican Bishop MENDEZ ARCEO.
The conscience and character of these men— and their colleagues in rebellion—are penetrated in Francine du Plessix Gray's richly informed, dramatic, and resonant book. Her account of their exploits throws light on the nature of radicalism rooted in fundamental Christian principles. She shows how these impassioned revolutionaries are, in the most basic sense, true progeny of the Church—and makes understood through their lives the "divine disobedience" that she believes to be today "the clearest sign of the enduring vigor of the Catholic faith."
Francine du Plessix Gray's fresh and urgent reportage in The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books has won wide and admiring attention. She has been a reporter for the United Press and has worked for a number of French magazines. Her short stories about her early childhood in Paris and her coming to America at the beginning of World War II have been published in The New Yorker—where parts of Divine Disobedience have also appeared. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, the painter Cleve Gray, and their two young sons.
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