More than 54 years in the priesthood, 51 of them in the Catholic press, have given John J. Dietzen a unique insight into the problems and frustrations affecting Catholics today, and into the avenues for change he discusses through Doors of Hope. His succinct reflections, formed by decades of research into church history, particularly into its more recent past, and unparalleled communication with thousands of readers, reveal the presence of much faith, but also much pain in Catholic Christians.
Fr. Dietzen's approach to current church positions � on penance, ecumenism, women, the priesthood, loyalty oaths, communion for the divorced and remarried, to name just a few � points to the need for new study and possible reform. If, as his examples reveal, the climate of the church has changed in the past, it must be that it is still alive and changing, that there is reason to believe that present-day rifts can be healed, obstacles overcome.
Uniquely qualified to present his positions, Father Dietzen has listened and responded to, and learned from, many thousands of Catholics who have written to him concerning their problems, dilemmas and questions about spiritual, doctrinal and moral issues. His approach is always pastoral, compassionate and � though some conclusions may seem controversial � thoroughly grounded in Catholic tradition.
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