The Catholic Challenge
Thomas W. Rezanka
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Buy *The Catholic Challenge: A Question of Conscience* online

The Catholic Challenge: A Question of Conscience
Thomas W. Rezanka
Better World Together Publishing
206 pages
October 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Thomas Rezanka challenges the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to let the laity do more in the Church. He suggests that the laity can be of great service, especially with the priest shortage. He also criticizes the Church for not allowing priests to marry. He recommends as a remedy to the priest shortage allowing those priests who left active ministry to marry to return to the active ministry. He correctly states that historically priests of the Western Church could marry; it was not until the eleventh century that the Popes required priests to be celibate in the Western Church. In the Eastern Church, priests can marry. The first few popes were married; St. Peter, the first pope, is a prime example. Rezanka even shows that three popes were married and fathered sons who became popes. Historically, Rezanka is correct.

Rezanka criticizes the Church on the sexual abuse cover-up and the treatment of women. He goes against the Church’s teaching on abortion and encourages pastors to get over their desire for power and ultimate control in parishes. He suggests the laity can do more things to help priests, allowing them to have more time to do their sacramental duties instead of worrying about money and other worldly things.

Rezanka, out of the blue, then goes on a tirade against President Bush which was timed for the 2004 national elections. This part seems out of place in this book.

Rezanka has some good suggestions in this book that the hierarchy and the clergy of the Catholic Church ought to take into consideration. He does not suggest leaving the Church but rather working within it to make things better.

© 2005 by Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B. for

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