Academic journal article Theological Studies

Living Celibacy: Healthy Pathways for Priests

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Living Celibacy: Healthy Pathways for Priests

Article excerpt

LIVING CELIBACY: HEALTHY PATHWAYS FOR PRIESTS. By Gerdenio Sonny Manuel, S.J. New York, Paulist, 2012. Pp. iii + 156. $14.95.

Manuel, priest and psychologist, knows whereof he writes. Books on celibacy are not hard to find these days. But finding helpful, insightful, honest books on celibacy is another matter. Manuel's book is a true find for both priests and vowed religious. Grounded on a mature spirituality and an equally mature anthropology of human sexuality, this book takes the reader into the heart of healthy celibate living.

M.'s masterful use of the case study method contributes greatly to the existential tone and content of the volume. His case studies have the ring of verisimilitude. No small achievement. Along with chapters on human desire, intimacy, community, and boundary issues, M. tackles the stressors that fall upon all celibates at one time or another and follows up with realistic coping strategies. Along the way, he looks at the clergy sexual-abuse scandals and related boundary violations with the eyes of an experienced clinician who does not confuse piety and moralisms with authentic spiritual maturity. …

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