Top critical review
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Catholics will LOVE this book!!
on June 6, 2011
"This book is not supposed to be anything like a definitive guide to Roman Catholicism. It is a mere handbook dealing with some of the most common but by no means all of the attacks on the Church and should be useful to Catholics who want to defend their beliefs and need a little help, an intellectualizing of the instinctive or a mild fleshing out of what they already thought to be the case. It should also be of use to honestly curious non-Catholics who have heard the usual accusations and rumours and can't believe that this institution that has done so much good and contains so many good people can truly be so evil and wrong...
This is a small book about a huge subject, but that should not distract from its premise that Catholicism is right and this is why."
The above extract comes from the introduction of this book by Michael Coren. Coren is a practising Catholic, Canadian author, weekly newspaper columnist, and host of the Canadian "The Michael Coren Show."
I have watched Michael Coren's TV show and find him to be an extremely interesting character. In fact, I've analysed him and how he interacts with others. (One of my degrees is in psychology.) Thus, I feel like I know him despite never having actually met him.
In the above extract, he mentions that this book "should be useful to Catholics." I agree. At the end of the book he boldly states:
"[I]n a perfect world everybody would be Roman Catholic."
Thus, Catholics should be extremely proud after reading this book.
However, in the above extract, Coren also mentions that this book should "be of use to honestly curious non-Catholics." These people may have some problems with this book. I'll mention only three of these:
(1) Why hasn't this book an index? Many concepts are presented and yet there's no easy access to this information. The table of contents has chapter titles that are very general only.
(2) This concerns the book's references. It appears to be mainly Catholic literature written by Catholic authors. Why not use references from more neutral academic sources that are objective and that give a balanced & fair discussion?
(3) I also had difficulty in seeing how most chapters related back to the book's premise ("Why Catholics are Right").
For example, for the "Catholics and the Abuse Scandal" chapter, is Coren saying that Catholic priests are RIGHT in what they did? For the chapter entitled "Catholics and Theology," is he saying that Catholics have THE RIGHT theology and other religions do not? Or consider the chapter entitled "Catholics and History." Is he implying that Catholics have THE RIGHT history and other religions do not?
Finally, in order to get the true facts regarding the abuse scandal, I would recommend the following book that has over twenty authors:
"Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012."
In conclusion, Michael Coren's book should resonate well within the Catholic community!!
(first published 2011; introduction; 5 chapters; main narrative 215 pages; acknowledgements; notes; bibliography)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>