The memoir of a former Catholic priest whose career as a union leader, search for spiritual meaning, and assisted suicide became the subject of a profile in the New York Times
The Priest Who Left His Religion follows the life of John Shields, a Catholic priest whose family prophesied would be the first American pope. Ordained as a Paulist in 1965, Shields quickly became caught up by the reversals of the Second Vatican Council, which attempted to undo many of the liberalizing movements of the Catholic Church. But he was most shocked by the Church’s disavowal of scientific evidence in order to “protect the faithful.” Shattered and brokenhearted by his discovery of the Church’s dishonesty, Shields left the priesthood to embark on a courageous journey from Catholicism to cosmic spirituality. Along the way, he embraced life in the secular world and developed a personal faith accepting the union of science and spirit.