The Rev. Andrew M. Greeley, the Roman Catholic priest, sociologist and bestselling novelist who died in Chicago on Thursday at 85, was a pithy provocateur. Here are a few of the choice words uttered by the self-styled maverick over the years:
On the need to make Mass more engaging: "How can you become enthused about a ceremony that doesn’t know how to end but must extend itself through semi-literate or inarticulate comments from laity who add at least 10 more minutes to the agony of boredom?"
On his prolific output as a writer of more than 150 novels and nonfiction books: "I suppose I have the Irish weakness for words gone wild. Besides, if you’re celibate, you have to do something."
On being a pariah in the church: "I’m a priest. I’m a Catholic. It’s the only church I have. At times it may not be very attractive, very efficient or very intelligent, but I won’t leave it until the day after the pope does."
On the hierarchy of the U.S. church: "If the American Catholic clergy and laity are satisfied to be governed in some considerable part by mitred pinheads, then they deserve such leadership…. There are, of course, many able, intelligent, spiritually wise bishops. If you gave me some time I could maybe think of 20."
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