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Just Church
Catholic Social Teaching, Synodality, and Women

Just Church engages the reader in the synodal pathway to a “Just Church” that can and should reflect its social teaching. An important measure of justice is an ecclesiology open to participation by others beyond celibate clerics, especially in consideration of competing Catholic ecclesial bodies and methods of membership.


"Just Church is a compelling reminder to the Church, at every level and in every setting, that true justice and authentic synodality require the inclusion of all the baptized in discerning what constitutes constructive mission in the Church's present moment in history. Most notably, Zagano's work underscores that the Church can be a faithful promoter of justice in the world only if justice reigns in the Church."
—from the foreword

"Pope Francis's vision for the future, synodality, and a Church in which lay women and men become active participants in shaping that future are all addressed here in crystal-clear prose. A trenchant critic of ecclesiastical humbug, Zagano points the way forward to a more just Church."
—Paul Lakeland, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University

"Just Church looks to connect the dots between Catholic social teaching and the practice of the Church, between affirming the equality of all persons created in the image and likeness of God and the ecclesiology of Vatican II, grounded in the recognition of the equal dignity of all the baptized, and their application to the life and practice of the Church—in particular, their consequences for women. Phyllis Zagano's perceptive reading of how hesitant efforts to develop a more synodal and inclusive ecclesial culture continue to be met by the resistance of clerical exceptionalism sheds light on the wounded credibility of the Church in the world today."
—Catherine Clifford, PhD, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario

"Just Church offers a historical and critical analysis of Catholic social teaching and synodality that honors the experiences of women who long for a just Church. Her candid research on women in the Church is essential for realizing Pope Francis's synodal vision."
—Erin Brigham, PhD, executive director, Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Social Thought and the Ignatian Tradition, University of San Francisco

Phyllis Zagano, PhD, has lectured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Her many awards include the 2014 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice from the Paulist Center Community in Boston. Her groundbreaking work on women in the diaconate led to her appointment in 2016 to the Pontifical Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women. Her most recent book is Women Religions, Women Deacons (Paulist Press, 2022).

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Just Church Teacher's Guide
PDF download.

ISBN: 978-08091-8814-7

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