15 May 2007

A helpful book

I have just finished reading Sr. Sara Butler's, M.S.B.T., recent one hundred and forty-four page book, The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church (Chicago/Mundelein, Illinois: Hillenbrand Books, 2007).

This work, in her own words, "reflects the path of my own intellectual and spiritual journey" (10). Sr. Butler wrote this book at the "urging of so many young adults, chiefly seminarians at the University of St. Mary of the Lake's Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, and more recently at St. Joseph's Seminary ("Dunwoodie") in Yonkers, New York" (ix).

Through this book, Sr. Butler "attempts to interpret and defend the Church's teaching, and at the same time to explain why many have had difficulty accepting it" (ix) to a "new generation ... of Catholic adults who are serious about the practice of their faith [and who] are puzzled, dismayed, and dis-edified by the distress and anger they encounter when the topic [of the reservation of priestly ordination to men] is aired" (viii).

She has divided her book into seven chapters:
  1. The Church's Teaching and the Present Discussion
  2. The Status of Women in Society and in the Church
  3. Three Objections to the Church's Teaching
  4. The Church's Fundamental Reasons
  5. The Church's Theological Arguments
  6. More Objections to the Church's Teaching
  7. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and the Development of Doctrine

If you are seeking to understand more clearly the Church's teaching on this matter, or if you are looking for a way to help explain this teaching to others, this fine and helpful book, for both scholar and layman alike, is for you.


  1. I ordered this book earlier this week and am awaiting for it to ship. This is pretty cool considering that she was once on the other side of the argument.

  2. Fr. D,

    Fr. Tim from the Hermenuetic of Continuity just mentioned you in his blog.

    That would explain the sudden rise in the number of hits.

  3. Jeff: You're right, and Sr. Butler also talks about this in her book. As one of her former students, I'm glad she has written this book and I'm confident you will enjoy it.

    Andrew: Thanks for the heads up; I hadn't yet seen his post.

  4. I want to get my hands on that book. I can't justify buying books right now to add to my "to read" pile though. Maybe I can find someone I can borrow it from.

  5. Failing that, you could always interlibrary loan it.