Misguided Morality Catholic Moral Teaching in the Contemporary Church
This title was first published in 2002. Misguided Morality presents a survey of how the Catholic moral programme has failed to make a decisive impact on the behaviour of the Church's members. Despite a cogent theology of human conduct, the author argues that its effectiveness is not impressive. This book analyses what has gone wrong in the transmission of the New Testament ideals. The book covers the whole field of morality, starting with the bible and tracing the historical and sociological factors which have effected the dilution of those ideals, frequently to the level of anodyne respectability. Having explored the causes of failure, the author offers positive suggestions for improvement in each area where shortcomings have been revealed. Combining loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church, with constructive criticism of shortcomings in implementing moral policies, this book is essential reading to those studying and participating in Catholic moral teaching in the contemporary church. The author is well known for his books on the challenges to the Church after Vatican II, including his books Mission or Maintenance, and Whatever Happened to Vatican II.
'This is a profoundly challenging book, from a scholar whose writing is always readable and fresh. It is not only about the Roman Catholic Church , although the tensions of that communion are the primary focus for its reflection: it gives no excuse for other churches to be complacent , but asks us all to take a clear-sighted look at the levels of corporate honesty in our Christian institutions, and at our exercise of power. I found it not just a critique of the author's church (and others must judge how to respond to his challenges there) but an invitation to self - scrutiny for myself and my church also.' The Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams 'In this book Michael Winter raises a prophetic voice to point out the failures in the moral life of the Catholic Church. He is a committed Christian and Catholic who despite his theme remains optimistic about the possibilities for the future. ... all of us in the Church need to hear the prophetic voice found here.' The Tablet 'With respect to the wider world, [Winter] deals with the failure of the Church to speak out against slavery, anti-Semitism, war, the dangers of capitalism, and corrupt political regimes. With respect to its own internal life he cites failures in the areas of the development of trust between clergy and laity, Church teaching on contraception and celibacy, personal rights within the Church, the treatment of suspect theologians, seminary formation, and a culture of subservience and secrecy that has dominated its approch to issues of child sexual abuse and other scandals... The range of topics tackled in the work is impressive;... this book is clearly the fruit of much exhaustive research on the part of the author, as can be seen from the breadth of material contained in its pages. It should(...)be welcomed as a valuable contribution to our understanding of the failures of the Church, past and present, to make the moral vision of the New Testament present in its own life and the lives of its members.' The Furrow