Catholic Scholars Address Current Problems

VOICES OF THE NEW SPRINGTIME: The Life and Work of the Catholic Church in the 21st Century. Edited by Kenneth D. Whitehead (St. Augustine’s Press, P.O. Box 2285, South Bend, Ind. 46680, 2004), ix + 102 pp. PB $17.00.

This volume contains the papers of the 25 th Annual Conference of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, held in Philadelphia in 2002. The keynote address was given by Cardinal Avery Dulles, on faith and reason, with a call to Catholics to … [Read more...]

The Dark Side of Voluntary Poverty?

THE POVERTY OF RICHES: ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI RECONSIDERED. By Kenneth Baxter Wolf (Oxford University Press, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016, 2003), 208 pp. HB $45.00.

The emergence of a commercial economy in the High Middle Ages created new spiritual challenges for many medieval Christians, who wondered how to reconcile Christ’s instructions to the rich man in the gospel with the emerging profit economy. … [Read more...]

What Civilization Owes to the Church

HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BUILT WESTERN CIVILIZATION. By Dr. Thomas Woods, Jr. (Regnery Publishing, Inc., One Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001), 256 pp., HB $29.95.

If modern studies credit the Catholic Church with anything positive, it is usually limited to faint praise in the realm of music and the arts. Dr. Thomas Woods, however, offers an alternative view in his unambiguously titled best-seller, … [Read more...]

Twentieth Century Catholicism

THE CHURCH CONFRONTS MODERNITY. Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era. By Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (Columbia University Press, 61 West 62nd St., New York, N.Y. 10023, 2004), 228 pp. HB $29.50.

In the first two decades of the 20th century, American intellectuals moved away from a Christian view of the world and opted for a secular philosophy of Pragmatism and empiricism. Two of the main figures of the day were William James and … [Read more...]

Imperial Judges

THE SUPREMACISTS. The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It. By Phyllis Schlafly (Spence Publishing Co., 111 Cole St., Dallas, Texas 75207, 2004), viii + 182 pp. HB $24.95.

Federal and State judges have become the leading protagonists in the current culture war that is going on in the United States. It seems like almost every month some activist federal judge declares a law passed by Congress or one of the … [Read more...]

Ultimate Issues in Politics

BECKET & HENRY: The Becket Lectures. By James J. Spigelman; foreword by George Cardinal Pell (St. Thomas More Society, GPO 282, Sydney, NSW 1043, Australia, 2004), 308 pp. US$35.00 + P&H.

(NOTEb Corresponding with the above address is apparently the only way to get this book, if it actually is still in print! Otherwise, check your local library - rjg) The account of Thomas à Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral four … [Read more...]

Irish Church in decline

THE END OF IRISH CATHOLICISM? By Vincent Twomey (Veritas Publications, 7 Lr. Abbey St., Dublin, Ireland, 2003), 220 pp. PB $18.95 [Available in the U.S. from Ignatius Press]

During the past few years we have seen much speculation about the rapidlydeclining state of the Church in Ireland after a series of clerical scandals and a drop in religious practice. Many are wondering if Ireland is still Catholic and … [Read more...]

Ratzinger on the Church

SALT OF THE EARTH. The Church at the End of the Millennium; An Interview with Peter Seewald. By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Ignatius Press, P.O. Box 1339, Fort Collins, Colo. 80522, 1997), 283 pp. PB $12.95.

This book is something like a sequel to The Ratzinger Report, which appeared in 1985. That volume caused quite a stir because of the bluntness of the Cardinal and because Catholics were not accustomed to hear such forthright and strong … [Read more...]

Transcendence in music

SURPRISED BY BEAUTY: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music. By Robert R. Reilly (Morley Books, 1814 ½ “N” Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, 2002), 351 pp. PB $19.95

Robert Reilly is a man of many talents. From Chicago, he is a graduate of Georgetown University in the same class as former President Clinton though perhaps not of the same easy bent of mind. He initially was an actor. He still carries … [Read more...]

Beautiful and Ugly Churches

IN TIERS OF GLORY. The Organic Development of Church Architecture through the Ages. By Michael S. Rose (Mesa Folio Editions, Aquinas Publishing Ltd., P.O. Box 11260 Cincinnati Ohio 45211 2004), 136pp. 200 color illustrations. PB $29.95.

In a previous book, Ugly as Sin, Michael S. Rose analyzed recent trends in church architecture and pointed out that there are three constants in great and traditional Catholic churches—permanence, elevation and iconography. There he offers … [Read more...]

How American Catholicism Was

THE EDGE OF SADNESS. By Edwin O’Connor (Loyola Press [Loyola Classics Series], 3441 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657, 1962/2005 reprint), 640 pp. PB $13.95.

Once upon a time, before the priest scandals, Catholicism in Boston was rampant with good ol’ Irish “Cat’lics” who looked at religion as an extension of their everyday lives. Families were proud of the priests in their ranks, all went to … [Read more...]

Priests and the Importance of Fatherhood

Priests are not just "hosts" to the parish community; they are really fathers and consequently the heads of their parish families.

Many thoughtful people today recognize that the United States—and indeed much of Western society—is in a cultural crisis. It takes little reflection to note that this crisis is centered in the family. The increase in divorce, the decrease … [Read more...]

Calumny in the Blogosphere

Calumnious blogging is a serious offense against God's law. Those who engage in it are jeopardizing their immortal souls and the souls of others.

Calumny is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary (1992) as a “false statement maliciously made to injure another’s reputation.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) places calumny as a serious sin under the Eighth Commandment, … [Read more...]

Four Priests of the Word

A Catholic literary revival has been quietly under way in this country for more than two decades.

As long as human nature continues to be a bundle of tensions and contradictions, pining for truth and yet succumbing to pride, there will always be dissent in the Church. We therefore should expect some dissent and not despair when we see … [Read more...]