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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
excellent bookAug. 17 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This is an exceptional book; it combines the virtues of a good popular account of a topic - haute vulgarisation at its best - with reflections and information that are informative to experts on the subject. The reservations I will mention should be seen in the context of this overall evaluation. The author is a bit restrained in his discussion of the novus ordo of Paul VI: his premises lead to the conclusion that this ritual was a disaster and an abuse, but he does not draw this conclusion. His view on the project of reconciling the Catholic faith with the Enlightenment and the world that takes its inspiration from the Enlightenment also does not face up to unpleasant realities. These realities are 1) that no such reconciliation is possible, since the Enlightenment originated in men who hated and rejected Christ and Catholicism, and whose systems were designed on purpose to be incompatible with the Catholic faith, and 2) that the possibility of such a reconciliation has been condemned vigourously and finally by a series of popes, including Gregory XVI, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII. One might say that the shadow of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre frightens the author; he is reluctant to appear as siding with the assertive French prelate. I suppose that in a popular book that is intended to sell, this reluctance has some point, as the pending rehabilitation of Archbishop Lefebvre is something that many people are not yet ready to face up to. But it is a flaw in the author's account.