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The Catholic RevolutionNew  Wine, Old Wineskins, and the Second Vatican Council$
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Andrew Greeley

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238176

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238176.001.0001

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New Rules, New Prophets, and Beige Catholicism

New Rules, New Prophets, and Beige Catholicism

(p.81) Seven New Rules, New Prophets, and Beige Catholicism
The Catholic Revolution

Andrew Greeley

Paul Wink

University of California Press

Revolutionary events and the collapse of institutional structures always leave chaos, confusion, and conflict in their wake. In the revolutionary years after the council, more changed than just the rules about sex. A large majority of laity and lower clergy participated and celebrated these changes. Neither historical nor theological nor personal depth was available in the immediate post-revolutionary era. The result was what theologian Robert Barron calls “beige Catholicism,” the colorless, odorless, tasteless, unimaginative, unpoetic variety of Catholicism in which he was raised. The need for order and certainty was still felt at the lower levels of the church leadership. The new authoritarians made the old monsignors look permissive. Although priests no longer controlled the lives of the laity, priests and parish staff members did still controlled access to the sacraments. In the post-revolutionary years after 1970, when the old rules were collapsing, a new set of extra canonical rules came into existence that protected clerical power and abused the rights of the laity. Paradoxically, the new freedom also meant new and more harsh rules. The rule making power of the local clergy proved remarkably durable.

Keywords:   new rules, beige Catholicism, revolutionary events, Robert Barron, church leadership

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