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The Priest In Crisis
(David P. O'Neill)

A probing, disturbing book for all concerned Christians on what may be the crisis of the post-conciliar Catholic Church. The author senses the unsettled state of many modern priests and his consequent hesitancy to become a leader of Church renewal. This hesitancy intensifies the crisis, for many educated people are looking less andless tot he priest for guidance andinspiration even in religious matters. In many traditional areas of priestly work the priest is now finding himself ignored or being expected to share with the lay people what was once exclusively entrusted to him.
The present work deals basically with sociological change as it affects priests. It points to developments in society and the adjustments in functin and role that these have caused in the priesthood. It also deals with the people involved, the priests caught in theis change with all the pain of adjustment. It makes clear to all who are concerned about this problem what is changing and why.
The Old sterotype of the priest as the educated leader of static andinward looking Catholic community is fast disappearing, even if the men who recently filled this role remain. No longer is the priest looked up on.
There are many changing relationships and roles with the institutional Catholic Church. The priest's relationship to higher authority and his own exercise of Church authority are being reevaluated. A new concept of morality is evolving which has practical repercussions on the priest's role as moral teacher and confessor. Even in his liturgical and theological roles the priest today faces new, confusing tensions.
The book, though written about three decades ago, is still relevant to the present day Catholic Church, which has seen more scandels and problems with regard to priests.

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