Garry Wills is a distinguished American historian whose writings over the past twenty years or so on the frailties of the Catholic Church, notably in such books as Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit (2000) and Why I Am a Catholic (2002), have provided stinging critiques of the institution to which he still steadfastly belongs. His new book, Why Priests? A Failed Tradition, continues the theme by rejecting the validity of the very idea of the Catholic priesthood. And if this is not sufficiently radical, Wills’s subversion of the priesthood also involves a critique of the doctrine of the Real Presenceof Christ in the Eucharist, the status of the sacraments, of mainstream accounts of the Atonement, and of the standing of Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews.
A case against the Catholic priesthood
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Tony Coady is Professorial Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. He is a Catholic.
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.