The Diocesan Priest in the Church of Christ
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By Joseph Clifford Fenton
The Diocesan Priest in the Church of Christ, originally published in 1951 as The Concept of the Diocesan Priesthood, is a masterful description of the mission and ministry of the diocesan priest. No one, writes Fenton, “can possess an adequate understanding of the diocesan priesthood unless he know something of the essential and divinely ordered status of the diocesan priest in the Church of Christ.” Treating with precision and clarity the scriptural and theological basis of the priestly office, Fenton provides a comprehensive description of the powers, duties, and graces of that office. As powerful today as it was at the mid-way point of the twentieth century, this book is remarkably well-suited to developing an effective response to the “vocations crisis” of our present age.
The Diocesan Priest in the Church of Christ is a powerful aid for diocesan seminarians and priests seeking to identify the concrete form of their vocation, and an excellent guide for anyone who desires to understand the gift of the priesthood as incarnated in their own diocesan priests.
Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton (1906–1969) was professor of fundamental and dogmatic theology at the Catholic University of America and, from 1944 to 1963, the editor of the American Ecclesiastical Review. He also helped to establish the Catholic Theological Society of America, which continues to this day. Over the course of his life, Msgr. Fenton wrote six books and numerous articles.