Cozzens, Donald B. 1939(?)-
Cozzens, Donald B. 1939(?)-
Born c. 1939, in Cleveland, OH. Education: Studied at St. Mary Seminary.
Priest, scholar, writer. Ordained Catholic priest, 1965; John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH, instructor of religious studies and writer in residence; St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, Cleveland, OH, president-rector.
Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest, Liturgical Press (Collegeville, MN), 1997.
Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul, Liturgical Press (Collegeville, MN), 2000.
Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church, Liturgical Press (Collegeville, MN), 2002.
Faith That Dares to Speak, Liturgical Press (Collegeville, MN), 2004.
Freeing Celibacy, Liturgical Press (Collegeville, MN), 2006.
Contributor to Commonweal.
Donald B. Cozzens is an ordained priest and the author of a number of religious books considered by some in the Catholic Church to be controversial. Cozzens stated in an interview on the American Catholic Web site that he knew he was destined to be a priest "from the first day of the first grade." Cozzens later became the president-rector of the St. Mary Seminary in addition to lecturing at John Carroll University.
After publishing Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul, openly admitting that many clergymen were homosexuals and that many of the newer members of the clergy were not adequate enough in their faith to perform their priestly duties, Cozzens published Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church. In this book he covers these issues as well as others, including clergy sexual abuse and women's roles in the Church. The book, however, is described by Paul Wilkes in an America review as "more prescriptive than descriptive." Canice Connors said that the author "has a fine, friendly way of defining the context and content for long-delayed conversations among Catholics" in a National Catholic Reporter review. Writing in Publishers Weekly, Jana Riess stated that the book "is a sensible and thorough discussion of some of the hot-button issues facing the Church."
Cozzens followed up this book in 2004 with Faith That Dares to Speak. Detailing the reasons why figures in and out of the Church do not speak up about abuses within the Church, he examines the Church's culture of secrecy and cover-up during times of crisis. Dennis M. Doyle, writing in the National Catholic Reporter, wrote that "Cozzens' powerful writing displays his mastery of skills in spiritual direction, pastoral counseling, and conflict resolution." Thomas Baker, reviewing the book in Commonweal, expected more, noting that Cozzens "adds little to the vivid indictments of church culture he has made in his previous books." Writing in America, David Gibson called the book "eminently readable" and "a meditation as much as an analysis." Gibson concluded by calling Faith That Dares to Speak "a fine book, desperately needed, and one that years hence may be seen as prophetic."
In 2006 Cozzens published Freeing Celibacy. The book deals specifically with the issue of mandatory celibacy among the Catholic clergy. Cozzens, admittedly faithful to his vow of celibacy, proposes that celibacy in the priesthood be optional as it has no historical or liturgical basis. "Written in a calm, even gentle, manner," stated Richard P. McBrien in a National Catholic Reporter review, "the book challenges every false or weak argument that has been advanced in support of obligatory celibacy for Roman Catholic priests." Kevin O'Neil, in a review for America, noted that "throughout the text, Cozzens offers thought-provoking questions that invite readers to think along and to extend their probing of the questions beyond the book." A review in the Internet Bookwatch stated that Freeing Celibacy "is a thoughtful and deeply spiritual treatise, expressing sincere concern for the future of Catholicism itself."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, October 14, 2002, Paul Wilkes, review of Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church, p. 19; February 7, 2005, David Gibson, review of Faith That Dares to Speak, p. 37; March 12, 2007, Kevin O'Neil, review of Freeing Celibacy, p. 21.
Booklist, September 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Freeing Celibacy, p. 23.
Catholic New Times, December 4, 2005, Ted Schmidt, "Donald Cozzens and the Faith That Dares to Speak," p. 15.
Christian Century, October 25, 2000, Leo D. Lefebure, review of Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul, p. 1085.
Commonweal, June 6, 2003, Lawrence S. Cunningham, review of Sacred Silence, p. 28; March 11, 2005, Thomas Baker, review of Faith That Dares to Speak, p. 34.
Conscience, March 22, 2007, review of Freeing Celibacy, p. 46.
First Things, February 1, 2001, Earl Boyea, review of Changing Face of the Priesthood, p. 31.
Internet Bookwatch, February 1, 2007, review of Freeing Celibacy.
National Catholic Reporter, September 13, 2002, Canice Connors, review of Sacred Silence, p. 15; February 11, 2005, Dennis M. Doyle, review of Faith That Dares to Speak, p. 9; February 9, 2007, Richard P. McBrien, review of Freeing Celibacy, p. 6.
Publishers Weekly, September 23, 2002, review of Sacred Silence, p. 16.
Reviewer's Bookwatch, January 1, 2005, John Taylor, review of Faith That Dares to Speak.
U.S. Catholic, June 1, 2002, Meinrad Scherer-Emunds, "How to Build a Healthier Church: An Interview with Father Donald B. Cozzens," p. 18.
American Catholic,http://www.americancatholic.org/ (May 7, 2007), Mary Jo Dengel, "Father Donald Cozzens: How to Build a Better Church."
John Carroll University Department of Religious Studies Web site,http://www.jcu.edu/religion/ (May 7, 2007), author profile.
Planet Out,http://www.planetout.com/ (January 25, 2007), "Scholar: Make Priestly Celibacy Optional."