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BOOK REVIEWS127 Why not acknowledge the difficulties Mclntyre faced in coming to grips with the social turmoil of the 1960's? The Cardinal's celebrated conflicts with Father William DuBay, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters, and various civil rights groups are all recounted, but they are presented in such a way that every Mclntyre decision is justified and defended. Again and again we are reminded of Mclntyre's wisdom. These chapters are most unsatisfying. Mclntyre was unprepared for the ecclesial and social traumas of the 1960's. He had little comprehension of the forces that exploded in Watts. By acknowledging Mclntyre's limitations in confronting these troubling issues, a fuller, more complex portrait of Mclntyre could have been created. Nonetheless, Weber has written a most useful biography, chock-full of interesting facts and stories. These massive tomes will be the standard reference work on Mclntyre for generations to come, and will serve as a starting point for future discussions on the Church on the West Coast during an extraordinary time of growth and turmoil. Jeffrey M. Burns ChanceryArchives, Archdiocese ofSan Francisco Reluctant Dissenter: An Autobiography. By James Patrick Shannon. (New York: The Crossroads Publishing Company. 1998. Pp. Lx, 228. $19.95.) James Patrick Shannon is a name forAmerican church history, ifonly as a footnote , because he is one of a rare breed—a bishop who resigned and married. In this autobiography he tells his story, or at least part of it. True to the title, he is reluctant to tell it; in fact, the manuscript of this account was completed in 1980. He admits that rejection by two different publishers reinforced his reluctance . Both in the dedication and the preface he credits his wife, Ruth, for the encouragement needed to overcome his reluctance. The dust jacket shows him as a young priest, as a bishop, and as a husband alongside his wife. The family background is clearly one of determination and hard work. His mother, left widowed with four children,was living in one room and working as a waitress until she owned two restaurants and a hotel. His father came from Ireland to establish a prosperous business in cattle trading.Young James was a good student and a properly devout seminarian. His observation that the orthodoxy of the seminary professors often allowed them to turn in shoddy performances because they could depend on doctrinal purity to cover their pedagogical deficiencies is a fairly common truism, but whether he realized it at the time or only after his experience atYale he does not say. He was ordainedJune 9, 1946, for the Archdiocese of St. Paul. His early priesthood was spent at the cathedral, where he was master of ceremonies for the archbishop. He went on to teach in the seminary, get a doctorate atYale, and become president of St. Thomas College, where he successfully raised funds for a new campus. While at this assignment the "certified confidential letter" came 128book reviews from the Apostolic Delegate asking him if he would accept elevation to the episcopacy. He accepted. He was made bishop March 31, 1965. He now asks whether the decision to accept was a mistake. His answer:"On what grounds?" There is no further reflection on the matter. He participated in the final session ofVatican Council II with the St. Paul delegation : Archbishop Binz, Auxiliary Bishop Leonard Cowley, and Father Kenneth Pierre. Interestingly enough, he has nothing to say about either Cowley or Pierre. Shannon involved himself in civil rights at Selma, in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and with the dissent to Pope Paul VTs encyclical Humanae Vitae. He reproduces a copy ofthe letter he sent to the Pope indicating his difficulties in assenting to the Pope's position. What may be new in his saga is the treatment he received from Cardinal Mclntyre and the Apostolic Delegate, Luigi Raimondi . While the Delegate's conduct fits in with the general appreciation of Vatican diplomacy, the claim that Mclntyre was able to terrorize all the bishops of the executive committee of the U.S. Bishops' Conference seems a bit of a stretch. Some explanation and reflection on these events would have added to the bare narration. It soon became...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 127-128
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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