The Clergy Speaks – Bishop Christopher J. Coyne

bishop_coyneWelcome back to “The Clergy Speaks”, a recurring feature here at The Catholic Book Blogger. “The Clergy Speaks” is a column focusing on one question I have asked various members of the clergy. That question is: What five books would you recommend as must-reads for Catholics today? I left the responses open to current or classic books with the only restriction being that the Bible and the Catechism could not be used as they are a given. This week we welcome Bishop Christopher Coyne, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Originally a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston, Bishop Coyne was named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis by Pope Benedict XVI on January 14, 2011.

He was ordained a bishop on March 2 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis. Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein ordained the new bishop. Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Bishop Richard G. Lennon of Cleveland were the co-ordaining bishops.

On September 21, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the early retirement of Archbishop Buechlein and named Bishop Coyne the Apostolic Administrator of the archdiocese.  He served in that role until December 3, 2012, when Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin was installed as the sixth archbishop of Indianapolis.

Here are Bishop Coyne’s picks for 5 must read books:

The Life of Moses by Gregory of Nyssa: This is one of the formative texts for understanding the mystical and spiritual sense of Scripture in service to living a virtuous, holy life. Gregory approaches Scripture not as history but as holy texts which serve to lift the soul towards God.

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Anyone who is Catholic needs to understand the importance in the Church of the call to religious life and how that call can help any believer to respond to the call to live a holy life. Benedict’s rule is the foundational text.

Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales: A beautiful work written not for the theologian or those in religious life but for the lay believer, recognizing the unique demands that each way of living in the world entails.

The Spirit of the Liturgy by Romano Guardini; I can’t help but include this text as my doctorate is in Sacred Liturgy. Still Guardini captures in this very short book the true sense of the Church’s Liturgy and its meaning for us that worship of God the Father through God the Son in God the Holy Spirit is essential for our human existence.

Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth (3 volumes): Writing as a systematic theologian, Pope Benedict unveils for us the life of Jesus within the rich tradition of the Church’s teaching. In the forward, he states rather humbly that he is writing as a fellow believer for other believers. Pope Benedict is not a scripture scholar. He is a teacher, a catechist if you will, speaking about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the means of our salvation.

+Bishop Christopher Coyne

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  • Tom Hanson

    I have just found this site, and was once, before we were rendered obsolete by spell-check programs, a paid proofreader. Has no one ever yet told you that “clergy” means the whole group of clerics? One priest is a cleric. Yet your title page in headline font says The Clergy Speaks. One bishop speaks. Two or more bishops speak. You will I think gain credibility with the literate if you change this sub-headline on a regular basis to THE CLERGY SPEAK—-Bishop So-and-So. “Clergy” is a collective term, all caps would indicate a regular, if intermittent, feature of your blog and the switch to normal capitalization in the same headline font makes perfectly clear that Bishop So and So is today’s guest speaker. Can’t hurt, might help.
    BTW I heartily agree with Bishop Coyne’s choice of Pope Benedict’s JESUS OF NAZARETH. It is a brilliant loving book written for ordinary people who are neither Scripture scholars nor theologians. He has a media reputation as a cold-fish logic-chopping theologian. This book never feels that way at all.
    Thank you from a semi-pro nit-picker.

    • Pete Socks

      The column is a weekly column……thus more than one Bishop, Archbishop or Cardinal is contributing. This is why I chose the title The Clergy (as a group eventually) speaks. You might want to check out the other contributions in the feature.


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