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Father Andrew Greeley

The Reverend Father Andrew M. Greeley (born February 5, 1928 in Oak Park, Illinois, to Andrew and Grace Greeley) is an Irish-American Roman Catholic priest, sociologist, journalist and best selling author.

Father Greeley is Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona and is a Research Associate with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. He writes a weekly column for the Chicago Sun-Times and contributes regularly to The New York Times, the National Catholic Reporter, America, and Commonweal. He has given numerous interviews on radio and television.


After studies at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, he received an AB from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Chicago in 1950, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB) in 1952, and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL) in 1954, when he was ordained. From 1954 to 1964 he served as an assistant pastor at Christ the King parish in Chicago, during which time he studied sociology at the University of Chicago. He received a Master of Arts in 1961 and then a PhD in 1962. His doctoral dissertation dealt with the influence of religion on the career plans of 1961 college graduates.

At various times Greeley was a professor at the University of Arizona, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago.

Father Greeley had many other honors and awards bestowed upon him, such as honorary degrees from the University of Arizona and Bard College, New York state, and the National University of Ireland in Galway. In 1981, Father Greeley received the F. Sadlier Dinger Award, which is presented each year by educational publisher William H. Sadlier, Inc. in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the ministry of religious education in America.

His fiction often deals with romances, including details of sexual encounters, typically written with underpinnings of a theology based on what theologian David Tracy calls the Catholic "analogical imagination", in which human love serves as a metaphor for the love of God for humankind. They reveal the author’s strong attachment to Irish culture: indeed, Greeley perhaps illustrates the Irish maxim that people from other countries of Irish descent are "More Irish than the Irish themselves". His major characters tend to be Irish-American Catholics from Chicago, and one example of this is John Blackwood "Blackie" Ryan, a mystery-solving clergyman (first priest, later auxiliary bishop, most recently Archbishop of Chicago), who is apparently one of Greeley's alter egos and who is sometimes compared with G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown.

Father Greeley's first work of fiction to become a major commercial success was The Cardinal Sins (1981). He then put out the Passover Trilogy: Thy Brother's Wife (1982), Ascent into Hell (1983), and Lord of the Dance (1984). After that, he wrote on average a minimum of two novels per year. In 1987 alone he produced four novels and two works of non-fiction. He labels himself as "a smart-aleck, in other words, and a glib smart-aleck who can be dangerously humorous and even pugnacious when someone tries to put him down". His literary output has been such that it has been said that he "has never had an unpublished thought".

At the height of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, Father Greeley wrote The Priestly Sins (2004), a novel about a young priest from the Plains States who is exiled to an insane asylum and then to an academic life because he reports abuse that he has witnessed. His book, The Making of the Pope (2005) was intended as a follow-up to his The Making of the Popes 1978. This was a first hand account of the coalition building process by which Joseph Ratzinger ascended to the papacy as Benedict XVI. The author has also dabbled in science fiction, writing the novels God Game and The Final Planet. Politically, he has been an outspoken critic of the George W. Bush administration and the Iraq War, and supports immigration rights. His book entitled A Stupid, Unjust, and Criminal War: Iraq 2001–2007 (2007), succinctly evaluates and presents the logic of the rush to start the Iraqi War by the Bush administration and its consequences for the United States.

Income generated from the sale of his books has been used to fund many charitable organizations. For example, In 1986, Father Greeley established a $1 million Catholic inner-city School Fund, providing scholarships and financial support to schools in the Chicago Archdiocese with a minority student body of more than 50 percent. In 1984, he contributed a $1 million financial endowment to establish a chair in Roman Catholic Studies at the University of Chicago. He also funds an annual lecture series, “The Church in Society,” at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois, from which he received his S.T.L. in 1954. He is pro-life[1] but his political positions tend to agree mostly with those of the Democratic Party.

He has also donated several thousand dollars to the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama.[2]

Father Greeley is an ardent supporter of the Chicago Bears, Bulls and the Cubs.

He suffered a fractured skull and left orbital bone near his eye in a fall on November 7, 2008 in Rosemont, Illinois, when his clothing got caught on the door of a taxi as it pulled away, and was hospitalized in critical condition.[3]His website indicates that he is still recovering from the traumatic brain injury that he received. And that his family hopes to be "continue to work so that, in spite of his injury, he can enjoy a quality of life in keeping with his imagination, intelligence, and service to his Church and community."[4]

Francis Pellegrini assassination

Francis Pellegrini was an organist and choirmaster at a south side Chicago church, as well as a sociology professor at a city college. He had a gay affair with one of the priests in The Boys Club, a group of Chigago clerics who abused underprivileged youths. [5]

Pellegrini informed the Chicago Archdiocesan Chancery, and scheduled a meeting with one of the archdiocese's top officials. But he was murdered on May 30, 1984, on the eve of that planned meeting. He was found in his home, with his hands tied with barbed wire and he had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Fr Greeley actually referred to the ring of predators in a couple of his books. "There is no evidence against them because no one has complained about them and none of their fellow priests have denounced them," he wrote. [6]


  • The Social Effects of Catholic Education (1961)
  • Religion and Career: A Study of College Graduates (1963)
  • And Young Men Shall See Visions (1964)
  • Letters to Nancy (1964)
  • The Hesitant Pilgrim: American Catholicism After the Council (1966)
  • The Education of Catholic Americans (1966)
  • The Catholic Experience: A Sociologist's Interpretation of the History of American Catholicism (1967)
  • The Changing Catholic College (1967)
  • Uncertain Trumpet: The Priest in Modern America (1968)
  • The Crucible of Change: The Social Dynamics of Pastoral Practice (1968)
  • What Do We Believe? The Stance of Religion in America (1968)
  • The Student in Higher Education (1968)
  • From Backwater to Mainstream: A Profile of Catholic Higher Education (1969)
  • Religion in the Year 2000 (1969)
  • A Future to Hope in: Socio-religious Speculations (1969)
  • Life for a Wanderer (1969)
  • The Friendship Game (1970)
  • Recent Alumni and Higher Education: A Survey of College Graduates (1970)
  • Can Catholic Schools Survive? (1970)
  • Why Can't They Be Like Us? (1971)
  • American Priests. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center (1971)
  • The Denominational Society (1972)
  • Unsecular Man (1972)
  • Priests in the U.S.: Reflections on a Survey (1972)
  • That Most Distressful Nation: The Taming of the American Irish (1972)
  • The Catholic Priest in the U.S.: Sociological Investigations (1972)
  • Ethnicity in the U.S.: A Preliminary Reconnaissance (1974)
  • Building Coalitions (1974)
  • The Sociology of the Paranormal (1975)
  • The Great Mysteries: An Essential Catechism (1976)
  • Ethnicity, Denomination and Inequality (1976)
  • The American Catholic: A Social Portrait (1977)
  • No Bigger Than Necessary (1977)
  • Neighborhood. New York (1977)
  • The Making of the Popes (1978)
  • Crisis in the Church: A Study of Religion in America (1979)
  • Ethnic Drinking Subcultures (1980)
  • The Young Catholic Family (1980)
  • The Religious Imagination (1981)
  • Young Catholics in the United States and Canada (1981)
  • The Irish Americans: The Rise to Money and Power (1981)
  • Parish, Priest and People (1981)
  • Catholic High Schools and Minority Students (1982)
  • The Bottom Line Catechism (1982)
  • Religion: A Secular Theory (1982)
  • The Catholic Why? Book (1983)
  • The Dilemma of American Immigration: Beyond the Golden Door (1983)
  • Angry Catholic Women (1984)
  • How to Save the Catholic Church (1984)
  • American Catholics Since the Council (1985)
  • Confessions of a Parish Priest (1986)
  • Catholic Contributions: Sociology & Policy (1987)
  • An Andrew Greeley Reader: Volume One (1987)
  • The Irish Americans: The Rise to Money and Power (1988)
  • When Life Hurts: Healing Themes from the Gospels (1988)
  • God in Popular Culture (1988)
  • Sexual Intimacy: Love and Play (1988)
  • Myths of Religion: An inspiring investigation into the nature of God and a journey to the boundaries of faith (1989) ISBN 0-446-38818-1
  • Religious Change in America (1989)
  • The Catholic Myth: The Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics (1990)
  • The Bible and Us (1990)
  • Faithful Attraction: Discovering Intimacy, Love, and Fidelity in American Marriage (1991)
  • Sex: The Catholic Experience (1995)
  • Religion as Poetry (1995)
  • Sociology and Religion: A Collection of Readings (1995)
  • Common Ground (1996)
  • Forging a Common Future (1997)
  • I Hope You’re Listening God (1997)
  • Furthermore! (1999)
  • The Mysteries of Grace
  • The Catholic Imagination (2000) ISBN 0-520-23204-6
  • Book of Love (2002)
  • The Great Mysteries: Experiencing Catholic Faith from the inside Out (2003)
  • The Catholic Revolution: New Wine, Old Wineskins, and the Second Vatican Council (2004) ISBN 0-520-24481-8
  • Priests: A Calling in Crisis (2004)
  • The Making Of The Pope (2005)
  • The Truth about Conservative Christians: What They Think and What They Believe (2006)
  • Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women (2007)
  • A Stupid, Unjust and Criminal War: Iraq 2001-2007 (2007)


Other work

His column on political, church and social issues appears each Friday in the Chicago Sun-Times and each Sunday in the Daily Southtown, a Chicago newspaper.


Andrew M. Greeley. "On Studying Religion." Pp. 197-212 in The Craft of Religious Studies, edited by Jon R. Stone. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.


External links

fr:Andrew Greeley pt:Andrew Greeley ro:Andrew Greeley

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