Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Warm and Wise View of the Catholic Church: Off the Cuff and Over the Collar by Bishop John McCarthy

On every page of this book you feel Bishop McCarthy's love for his church and for people. However, he recognizes that both people and the church have traditions and practices that drive them apart. I thought he did an excellent job giving his ideas on major social problems: divorce, homosexuality, bullying, sexual abuse of children by priests and the issue of celibacy of priests. Not everyone will agree with his suggestions, but they are worth reading and will make you think.

In the second part of the book, Bishop McCarthy discusses some of the traditions and practices of the Roman Catholic Church giving the history as well as discussing the practice. This section is worth reading whether you're Catholic or not if you're interested in an elucidation of some of the practices of the church that seem arcane to outsiders.

A third section of the book discusses how the church operates. How is the church financed; what do cardinals do; how are bishops chosen; and other topics? Again this is a good section for those people who have wondered about how the church operates. I didn't realize the severity of the priest shortage. It is interesting to see how the church is trying to solve this problem.

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for both Catholics and non-Catholics who want to learn more about the Roman Catholic Church and have their horizons broadened by well-developed discussions of a number of social ills.

I reviewed this book for PR by the Book.