Thursday, July 11, 2013

What Every Real Catholic Must Do Once In Their Lifetime

There is a battle that has been raging for a long time over Catholic Church history.  As one of my favorite Church historians, Regine Pernoud has put it:

"It is so easy, in fact, to manipulate history, consciously or unconsciously, for a public that is not knowledgeable about it…The Middle Ages is privileged material: one can say what one wants about it with the quasi-certitude of never being contradicted.”

Catholics are routinely bludgeoned by "historians" who usually don't know much about history themselves.  That's why every Catholic must, at least once in their life, read a book on Church history that has been written by a Catholic.
I was recently asked to review two books on Church history that were published by Ignatius Press.  Both of them are excellent.

First of all, I was asked to review "The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church" by Dr. Christopher Koczar.  This book is great for a couple of reasons.
A) It is super short
B) It directly confronts the lies and deceptions that people so often get away with and refutes them.  Those who follow this blog know that I'd much rather confront a topic head on than dance around it.

Dr. Kaczor takes on seven myths
1) The Church hates science
2) The Church opposes freedom and happiness
3) The Church hates women
4) The Church banned contraception because it is opposed to true love
5) The Church hates homosexuals
6) The Church opposes same-sex marriage because of bigotry
7) Priestly celibacy caused the crisis of sexual abuse of minors

This book is also great because it goes back in time to look at how history has impacted issues relevant to our own day.  This book is a MUST for your high school or college-aged young person.  It is a handbook anyone can turn to amidst the attacks that regularly assault Catholics.

The other book I was asked to review is Dr. James Hitchcock's "History of the Catholic Church."  You may have seen Dr. Hitchcock providing tireless and invaluable commentary during EWTN's coverage of Pope Benedict's resignation and the subsequent papal conclave.  

Dr. Hitchcock's book is not something that most people would likely read cover to cover because it is 530 pages.  However, it is organized in a way that I've not seen any other Catholic history books.  Instead of long and lengthy narratives or chapters, the book goes through history in paragraph spurts.  In addition, to make it even easier to read, there is a word in the margin that sums up what the paragraph is about. Here's an example:

This book would be a solid addition to any Catholic's library, and would make a solid and quick reference source that one could easily and quickly turn to to get a glimpse at the historical setting of just about anything Catholic that has happened over the course of the last 2,000 years.

Dr. Hitchcock's book is another indispensable tool for people looking to actually learn about authentic Church history, warts and all, while at the same time recognizing that the cartoonish view of Church history that dominates our current cultural landscape is false and is the work of the Devil.

Other books I strongly recommend on the subject of Church history would be
"Those Terrible Middle Ages" by Regine Pernoud,
"Triumph" by H.W. Crocker III,
"The Stripping of the Altars" by Eamond Duffy,
"How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" by Thomas Woods Jr.,
"To Quell the Terror" by William Bush,
"France and the Cult of the Sacred Heart" by Raymond Jonas, and
"Seven Lies About Catholic History" by Diane Moczar.

Learn how to fight back against JV historians!


  1. Indeed, every Catholic should read a Church history written by a Catholic, but there are certainly some "catholic" authors one might want to avoid as well. One of the most popular (and least helpful) is Thomas Bokenkotter's "Concise History of the Catholic Church" - not only is it shoddy, but it's not too concise either. Also to be avoided, "A Popular History of the Catholic Church" by Carl Koch who is not a historian (and imo, not too eager to embrace catholic history). NOTE - this text should not be confused with an out of print book with the same title by Phillip Hughes. I've not read it & don't know if it's good or not.
    I would also suggest adding to the list Martha Rasmussen's "The Catholic Church: the first 2000 years" (also by Ignatius Press) and Allen Schreck's "Compact History of the Catholic Church". Finally, John Vidmar's "The Catholic Church Through the Ages" is decent as well. With all these great sources there's no reason every Catholic shouldn't read at least one!

  2. Well, six of throes are semi true (FOR GOOD RESONS!!!).

    1. The church hates science… BAD AND MISGUIDED SCIENCE!!!
    Examples: Birth control, cloning, embryonic stem cells research, human genetic engineering (think of the movie “Gattaca”), biological and chemical warfare… you get idea…

    2. The church hates freedom and happiness… AT THE COST OF YOUR WELLBEING AND THE WELLBEING AND HAPPINESS OF OTHERS!!!
    Examples: the hookup culture, the idolizing and acceptance of hard drugs and really heavy drinking (mind you I like my beer, wine and hard stuff but then there going to far!!!), the tyranny of feeling (it’s about “MY” love “MY” freedom and “MY” happiness!!!)

    3. The church hates “women” or more to the point… what they have BECOME and they think they should ACT!!!
    Examples: the hookup culture (again), gender “equity” (Woman = man with breasts, Men = women a dick.) and gender warfare (Men are the ENEMY and must be put in there place and or destroyed!!!)

    4. The church hates contraception because it is opposed self serving, self centered, selfish “love”
    Examples: I can “love” with out risk so let me show you how much I “LOVE” you… (by making you a physical and emotional masturbation aid!!)

    5 and 6. The Church hates homosexuals and same-sex marriage… when it is used as a weapon against who thinks differently about it thus any debate turns in to “Attack the bigot!!!” in about two Sec. and thus forth making everyone who isn’t “freethinking”, “open minded”, or “tolerant” life a living HELL!!!

    Yes, my spelling and grammar sucks so feel free to rake me over the coals if you want.

  3. Don't forget Dr. Warren Carroll's six-volume History of Christendom!