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Monday, October 6, 2008

Great Catholic Reformers

While I'm in a Blogging mood, I want to throw out a pitch for an excellent book written by one of my professors at Mundelein Seminary. Dr. C. Colt Anderson, who has since moved on from the seminary to a better job elsewhere, is the author of The Great Catholic Reformers: From Gregory the Great to Dorothy Day, a discussion of major reformers within the Catholic Church.

In his introduction, Dr. Anderson notes that the Church is constantly in need of reform, and all of us are called to be a part of that reform. To this end, he offers ten major reformers within the history of the Church who were able to accomplish much in the way of reform while still remaining in unity with the Church.

In my opinion, for a reform movement to be valid, it must remain within the unity of the Church, and must not enter into dissent. A danger in any reform movement is to consider its opinions and positions as above the Church. We can see this operating in many of the reform movements like Call to Action or FutureChurch, but is also prevalent in more "radical traditionalist" movements that are sedevacantist.

I'm only about 20 pages into Great Catholic Reformers, but I've already found it to be an inspiring and interesting read. Dr. Anderson is a great professor, willing to challenge much of what we held as seminarians, and is also a great author who is willing to do the same for his readers.

3 comments:

Adoro te Devote said...

Is St. Catherine of Siena listed in the book as one of the great reformers?

I often see or hear dissenters lamenting that women aren't standing up to the hierarchy "like St. Catherine of Siena"; yet if they read her works and her life, she did nothing contrary to doctrine. She wasn't out to change doctrine or undermine authority. She RESTORED proper authority by calling a Pope to CONVERSION, not to CONFORMATION with the world! And yet, they miss this fact as they cite her as a "heroine" for dissenting causes.

One of these days I'll write more on that...if I get time.

Father Cory Sticha said...

Yes, St. Catherine has a chapter dedicated to her reforms. I was going to link to a review of the book, but the author of the review used the book to justify why the Pope needs to listen to Call to Action and Voice of the Faithful in their calls for women priests. Nope, no link to that article. Too bad, as it was a good review up to that point.

Adoro te Devote said...

Very sad...there seems to be a rash of that kind of thing lately. Just yesterday I read an article from one Religious Sister with regard to habits and it was a balanced article. Then she quoted another Sister, on the same topic, which, again, started out balanced. I was beginning to think there was hope...and then she went and complained that the women entering Habited Orders currently are not standing up to the Magisterium as did Sister Herterodox and Sister Dissent and St. Catherine of Siena.

* Sigh *

I'm starting to think a bunch of us need to start clearing these Saint's names! They're being slandered and hijacked for bad causes by people who are ignoring what they actually said and what they actually did!

/rant

OK...I'll go read mroe of Dialogues now...no doubt the dear Saint will continue, with God, to tell me to pray for these people lest they end up exactly where they're headed....