From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills comes an assured, acutely insightful, and occasionally stinging critique of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy from the 19th century to the present. Wills describes a papacy that seems steadfastly unwilling to face the truth about itself but also reminds the reader of the positive potential of the ...
From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills comes an assured, acutely insightful, and occasionally stinging critique of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy from the 19th century to the present. Wills describes a papacy that seems steadfastly unwilling to face the truth about itself but also reminds the reader of the positive potential of the Church.
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Garry Wills, ex-SJ is a damn good historian not only of early Christianity but of several other areas. This book was received with controversy and Wills was accused of "heresy" (In the final years of the 20th Century, mind you) because he laid out the historical facts surrounding the corruption and misdeed during the early papacy. Many main-stream Catholics don't want our dirty linen exposed and Wills has honestly and forthrightly done so. This is an excellent book, well researched and superbly written by a man of conscious and great intelligence.
Sep 18, 2010
This book covers the reasons behind a lot of teachings that have very little to do with faith and quite a lot to do with politics. While it does not weaken my faith in the church(which is the people) it clarifies the human error rampant in the hierarchy.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-05-29 Fans of Wills, one of America's foremost writers on religion, were mildly disappointed with his 1999 biography of Saint AugustineDnot because it was anything less than brilliant, but because it was so short. They needn't have worried. In his new book, Wills puts Augustine to work against the "structures of deceit" he sees built into today's Roman Catholic papacy. Wills postulates that the papacy in every era has its own besetting sin. In the medieval period, it was political power; in the Renaissance, money; today, he argues, it is intellectual dishonesty. Because the papacy is incapable of admitting error on doctrinal matters, Wills believes, it forces apologists into mental gymnastics to defend doctrines such as an absolute ban on birth control. Throughout, Wills weaves in observations from Augustine and other Church fathers, showing that the "unbroken tradition" on these issues invoked by Church authorities is an ideological, rather than historical, construct. Wills contrasts Augustine's love of parrhesia, or bold honesty, with what he sees as the papacy's habitual mendacity on issues such as the Holocaust, priestly celibacy, homosexuality and the political function of Marian devotions. He also suggests that the crisis of conscience engendered by a Church that asks its leaders to defend dishonest positions is an unacknowledged contributor to the priest shortage. Though his rhetoric is at times a bit sharp, and his historical formulae a bit too sweeping, Wills's passion is excusable since this is a philippic directed at the Church by one its ownDa sincere, faithful Roman Catholic. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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