I read this book by Leon Podles some years ago and want to re-read it again after my years in seminary. The book went out of print but is now available FREE in pdf format at the link below.
I think much of what Podles is comlaining about in this book is what bothered me about some of the priests I served with as a seminarian. Some were gay and some were straight but what struck me about both groups was an adversion toward dogma. I remember when Terri Schiavo was dying, I was living in a rectory with a pastor who refused to talk about the case AT ALL. I went at him every which way I could to get at his reasoning—I saw his reticence as a dereliction of duty—and he finally told me was a pastor and too busy to teach people moral theology. I asked him what he would say if a family called him to the hospital with a similar case. He said, “I would tell them, God knows you’re good people and whatever you do is alright with him.” I remember thinking, “If that is true, then what are priests for?”
I think this guy’s biggest problem was not theological–he wasn’t saying the Church’s teachings were wrong–but that he was such a milquetoast, he refused to say anything that might offend anyone. I think that sort of priest is what Podles is talking about when he talks about “feminization” of the Church. I think that’s a real problem.