Books by Faculty

Apostolic Religious Life in America Today

Apostolic Religious Life in the America Today: A Response to the Crisis, outlines the signs of this situation that are readily apparent and well-known to all who practice Roman Catholicism. The significant decline in the number of priests and religious and fewer vocations to religious congregations have produced a severe blow to formerly active apostolates and brought grave concern for the future of these ministries. While the reasons for this present situation are complex, interpretation of the documents of Vatican II is clearly one very important factor. Scholars hold two basic interpretations of the Council: the hermeneutic of rupture sees the Council as a revolution which placed the Church on a completely new trajectory. A second hermeneutic, however, views the Council as reform with continuity. While most literature to date has analyzed the hermeneutic of rupture and the consequent transformation of apostolic religious life, this book describes the opposite position.

Divided into two parts, this volume first presents an analysis of the problem and secondly a solution to place apostolic religious life on a positive trajectory in the 21st century. The first section of this book describes how the hermeneutic of rupture is an incorrect reading of Vatican II. Rather, the Council, in addressing numerous issues, did not break from the past, but rather sought to understand Church teaching in more contemporary ways, but with continuity to the Tradition. Essays in this section describe this misreading of Vatican II, the consequent misunderstanding of the evangelical counsels, and the rejection of religious signs. The second section, through an analysis of the writings of Hans Urs von Balthasar, Basile Moreau, Pope Benedict XVI, and a reflection on Perfectae Caritatis, provides a solution of Christian love as the operative way to reform apostolic religious life today.

CUA Press, 2011.