Elections in the Church by Joseph O'Donoghue
Baltimore : Helicon press, 1967. Hardcover. 232 pages ; 22 cm. $5.95 dust jacket with 1' tear at the bottom left-hand corner of the dust jacket front side. Green cover board with black title at spine. Storage odor to pages. Pages are unmarked. Binding is firm.
From the Dust Jacket :
At the Second Vatican Council, the bishops elected to renew the Church. This effort still remains to be done. It is Father O'Donoghue's theme that to succeed we must revive, develop, and expand elective techniques and representative procedures in the Church on every level. There is a large role for representation and shared responsibility in the diocese, for effective communication and planning—not to mention great elective possibilities in the chancery office. On the parish level, this will require committees for Christian justice, finance, liturgy, and peer group clergy-lay boards of review. For the national and international scenes, he suggests, among other things, that the idea of service would be greatly helped by limited terms of office for both bishop and pope.
Always the emphasis is on the free, responsible, mature, personal involvement of each individual Christian as a living part of the People of God. Father O'Donoghue's intention is to prevent the sterile repetitions of general principles, so characteristic of Catholics, by offering specific proposals for discussion and modification in actual use. Only in this way can we hope for ultimate, effective living of the election made at the Council.
This book was written during the time when the Church invited all to participate during a period of experimentation. In terms of the universal Church as well as from an historical point of view, the proposals of Father O'Donoghue are a direct acceptance of that invitation to discuss the implementation of Vatican II. However, since the book was written, many local ordinaries and regional hierarchies are now laying down clear and specific guidelines for such implementation and, consequently, they would become the norm for the Church in those areas.
Father Joseph O'Donoghue, an elected member of the Priests' Senate of the Arch¬diocese of Washington, has published several proposals to restructure parishes and dioceses along lines which would permit greater involvement of the faithful in the full life of the Church. The main theme of his articles in Commonweal, The National Catholic Reporter, The American Ecclesiastical Review, U.S. Catholic and other publications is that true renewal requires the participation of all Christians in both the proposal-making and decision-making apparatus of the Church.
Ordained in 1958, Father O'Donoghue has spent most of his time in the pastoral ministry. Co-chairman of the clergy study group of his Archdiocese, at the present time he is a doctoral candidate in the School of Theology at the Catholic University of America.
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