Whose Church?

A Concise Guide to Progressive Catholicism

Noted social ethicist Daniel Maguire explains what Catholicism actually says about good sex, women’s equality, social justice, and the environment

“All the world’s major religions started out powered by the left-wing passions of justice, hope, and compassion . . . targeting exploitation of the have-nots by the haves.” —from Whose Church?

In the spring of 2007, Daniel C. Maguire was condemned by U.S. bishops for his progressive writings, because, the New York Times reported, Maguire’s pamphlets on abortion and same-sex marriage “are written in a very popular and lively style, and from what the bishops knew, they were very widely distributed.” Praised by Ms. Magazine as one of “40 male heroes who took a chance for women,” Daniel C. Maguire is a noted theologian and ethicist whose controversial views and irreverent style have rankled conservatives for nearly thirty years.

In this pithy guide to progressive Catholicism, Maguire shows how tragically far conservative Catholic politics have strayed from the best Catholic social teaching. Whose Church? takes special aim at the “pelvic politics” that have dominated official Catholicism, skewering the Church hierarchy’s rigid positions on sex and reproduction and revealing a “spiritually healthy” alternative approach that is fully in line with Catholic tradition. Whose Church? offers deeply informed and incisive theological arguments in favor of gender equality, affirmative action and antiracism, opposition to war, and the fight against poverty and economic inequality.

Full of humor, passion, and intolerance for injustice, Whose Church? is a manifesto for Catholics and for progressives everywhere—showing the way forward at a critical juncture in the history of the U.S. Catholic Church and in progressive politics more generally.

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