The author writes: ‘This is a book about authority, especially authority as exercised in the Roman Catholic Church. I write today because I struggle with authority as I believe many fellow church members, both cleric and lay do. What I have learned from my own life experience is that authority comes not from titles or books or positions but from the quality of relationship.’
Authority spawns a number of associated terms or ideas and they are all part of the cultural mix which impacts on the discussions within this book. Some words that might spring readily to mind would be obedience, hierarchy, leadership, governance, dissent and conscience. Others that might be not so explicit could include words such as subsidiarity, charism, local and universal.
I see the church today, with all its difficulties, still throbbing with life. She is alive because God’s Spirit continues to breathe life into her. Jesus promised the gift of the Spirit who would not leave us orphaned and the life force that beats gently or pulsates widely in so many facets of this wonderful mystery proclaims this vibrant presence.
The book is offered to all men and women who exercise, endure, rail against, submit to or grapple with authority. It is offered humbly and with respect.’
Columba Press / 2008 / ISBN 978-1-85607-609-8
About the Author
Tony Hanna teaches in the Marino Institute of Education, Dublin.