A longtime leader among liberal Catholics lays out a practical program for democratizing and opening up the Church from the local parish and diocese level up, drawing on the unrealized potential of models and reforms through history. As background he especially focuses on the Enlightenment reform movement in 19th-century Germany that presaged the reforms proposed by Vatican Council II, many of which are still unfulfilled or even reversed. He also discusses the remarkably democratic and lay-involving practices of the Catholic Church in early America. He concludes with a draft constitution for parishes and dioceses to adapt.
Leonard Swidler is professor of Catholic Thought & Interreligious Dialogue at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is Founder/Director of the Institute for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.