Archives for April 2009

The Church on Trial

Augustine: A New Biography . O’Donnell, J.J. (2005). NY: Harper-Collins Publisher, 10 E. 53 rd St., 10022 pp. 336 BP $26.95.

This rendition of Augustine’s life and legacy is by no means hagiographical. As a matter of fact it is, at times, down-right hostile. The first part of the book is based mainly on an exegesis of The Confessions. O’Donnell questions its gen … [Read more...]

The Church in the world

BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM: Five Reflections on the History of the Church. By Glenn W. Olsen (Ignatius Press, P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, Colo. 80522, 2004), PB 236 pp. $14.95.

Beginning at Jerusalem presents the reader with an interpretation of five different stages of the history of the Church from a deeply Catholic perspective and draws out the significance of events of each period for the life of the Church … [Read more...]

Insight into Wilde’s soul

THE UNMASKING OF OSCAR WILDE. By Joseph Pearce (Ignatius Press, P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522, 2004); 1-800-651-1531; 412 pp. HB. $19.95.

Distinguished classical scholar in his college days at Trinity College in Ireland; gifted poet, dramatist, and author of fairy tales like “The Selfish Giant” and “The Happy Prince”; famed wit, dandy, bon vivant, and sophisticated convers … [Read more...]

Rehabilitation of Garrigou-Lagrange

THE SACRED MONSTER OF THOMISM. An Introduction of the Life and Legacy of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. By Richard Peddicord, O.P. (St. Augustine’s Press. P.O. Box 2285, South Bend, Indiana 46680-2285, 2005), 250 pp. PB $25 clothbound.

There have been few figures in the theological climate of the last fiftyyears who have been as controversial as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. Fr. Lagrange taught generations of future priests who studied in Rome, including Pope John Paul II … [Read more...]

Truth in the Pulpit

BE NOT AFRAID: COLLECTED WRITINGS. By George Cardinal Pell (Duffy & Snellgrove, Sydney, Australia, 2004), 306 pp. PB $25.00.

George Pell began his sermon at the funeral of his friend, Sister Clare Forbes, in this way: “Recently at the funeral of the Melbourne priest Fr. John Keaney, his twin brother Matt, a Jesuit, who preached the sermon, quoted a crusty old I … [Read more...]

Annulment procedure explained

ANNULMENTS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: STRAIGHT ANSWERS TO TOUGH QUESTIONS. By Edward N. Peters (Ascension Press, P.O. Box 1990, West Chester, Pa. 19380, 2004), 197 pp. PB $12.00.

Few aspects of Catholicism provoke as many questions as does the topic of annulments. The cynical often regard it as "Catholic divorce," available at least for the rich, but even well–meaning Catholics easily grow perplexed about just how a … [Read more...]

You can go your own way

EXCOMMUNICATION AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Straight Answers to Tough Questions, by Edward N. Peters (Ascension Press, W5180 Jefferson Street, Necedah, WI 54646, 2006) 100 pp., PB $7.95

Excommunication is always a hot topic. It frequently arouses considerable interest as well as emotional investment when brought up. In some circles, people lament that excommunication is not utilized frequently enough, and see in it a clear … [Read more...]

Christianity and the Pursuit of Leisure

LEISURE: THE BASIS OF CULTURE. By Josef Pieper (St. Augustine Press, 11030 S. Langley Avenue Chicago, IL 60628), ISBN-10: 1890318353, 176 pages, $12.00)

It may seem that the quest for leisure has become a fetish for us moderns and the less said of it the better. But in his classic work Leisure: The Basis of Culture (recently republished by Ignatius Press), Joseph Pieper quickly opens our … [Read more...]

Help for Catholics

COME AND SEE. CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY: THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. By Joseph Ponessa and Laurie Watson Manhardt (Emmaus Road Publishing, 827 North Fourth St., Steubenville, Ohio 43952, 2004), 202 pp. PB $19.95.

There are many Protestant Bible study programs but not very many Catholic ones. So it is encouraging to find a new Catholic Bible study series of books that Catholics can use without wondering whether or not what they are studying is in … [Read more...]

A Crusading Pope

THE DEEDS OF INNOCENT III. Edited and translated by James M. Powell (Catholic University of America Press; order from Hopkins Fulfillment Service, P.O. Box 50370, Baltimore, Md. 21211, 2004), 320 pp. HB $59.95.

Innocent III was one of the most significant popes in history and certainly the most important pope in the medieval period. A skilled and energetic figure in the papal bureaucracy, Lothari di Segni was elected pope in January 1198 at the … [Read more...]

Recovering History

A BIBLICAL HISTORY OF ISRAEL. By Iain Provan, V. Phillips Long, and Tremper Longman, III, (West Minster john Knox Press, 100 Witherspoon Street Room 2047, Louisville, KY 40202-1396) 426 pp. PB $34.95.

The field of biblical history today is dominated by two approaches, both of which are skeptical about the historicity of biblical claims. The first approach regards with suspicion the historical claims of the Bible on principle because of a … [Read more...]

A holy, brave, maligned pope

MAN OF PEACE: POPE PIUS XII. By Margherita Marchione (Paulist Press, 997 Macarthur Blvd., Mahway, N.J. 07430, 2004), xi + 79 pp. PB $9.95.

This is an abridged edition of Sr. Margherita Marchione’s Shepherd Souls: a pictorial life of Pope Pius XII. Her written defenses of Pope Pius XII began in 1977. This is her fifth volume in response to the attacks leveled against Pius XII t … [Read more...]

A New View of Sacrifice

THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS. A Search for an Acceptable Notion of Sacrifice. By Michael McGuckian, S.J. (Liturgy Training Publications/Hillenbrand Books, 1800 North Hermitage Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60622, 2005), x + 134 pp. PB $12.95.

According to the New Testament, especially in Ephesians and Hebrews, the death of Jesus on the Cross on Calvary was a sacrifice to God the Father made by Jesus Christ, the God-Man, in reparation for sin and the salvation of those who would … [Read more...]

Introduction to Metaphysics

METAPHYSICS. By D. Q. McInerny (Fraternity Publications Service, Griffin Road, P.O. Box 196, Elmhurst, Pa. 18416, 2004), 361 pp. PB $24.00 plus $3.00 for P & H.

This book is a beautifully written volume, intended to provide a thorough introduction to metaphysics in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition. It covers what scholastic thought calls “general metaphysics,” including the first principles of m … [Read more...]

The Prophet of Arabia

THE LIFE AND RELIGION OF MOHAMMAD. By J. L. Menezes. (Roman Catholic Books, P.O. Box 2286, Fort Collins, Colo. 80522, 1912/2005 reprint), 194 pp. HB $24.95.

Mohammed, the founder of the Islamic religion, was born in Mecca, Arabia, in 570 and he died in 632. Father Menezes, the author of this book, lived and worked in India, which has a significant Moslem population. He wrote this book in 1911 … [Read more...]