A longtime leader among liberal Catholics lays out a practical program for democratizing and opening up the Church from the local parish and diocese level up, drawing on the unrealized potential of models and reforms through history. As background he especially focuses on the Enlightenment reform movement in 19th-century Germany that presaged the reforms proposed by Vatican Council II, many of which are still unfulfilled or even reversed. He also discusses the remarkably democratic and lay-involving practices of the Catholic Church in early America. He concludes with a draft constitution for parishes and dioceses to adapt.
Leonard Swidler is professor of Catholic Thought & Interreligious Dialogue at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is Founder/Director of the Institute for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.
Part 1 ENLIGHTENMENT CATHOLICISM Chapter 2 What Is Enlightenment Catholicism? Chapter 3 Enlightenment Reforms Chapter 4 Extent and Demise of Enlightenment Catholicism Chapter 5 Reflection On the Anti Enlightenment Attack Chapter 6 Implications of the Demise of Enlightenment Catholicism Part 7 ENLIGHTENMENT CATHOLICISM REDIVIVUS Chapter 8 Enlightenment Catholicism Redivivus Chapter 9 Democracy in the Catholic Church Part 10 PAST LESSONS, FUTURE STRATEGY Chapter 11 Lessons from Enlightenment Catholicism and Catholic History Chapter 12 A Proposed Constitution of the Catholic Church Chapter 13 Parish (Diocesan) Constitution Procedural Guidelines