June 2002: Review of Good Bye, Good Men and Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church.
Two recent books should be on your “must read” list for this summer. The first is Michael Rose’s Goodbye, Good Men, a devastating account of how Catholic seminaries deliberately discriminate against orthodox seminarians. Mr.Rose, the author of several previous books on the deconstruction of authentic Catholic architecture, interviews 125 seminarians and former seminarians from fifty dioceses. The stories they tell are depressing and often shocking. Archbishop Elden Curtiss of Omaha in a 1995 article described the priest shortage as “artificial and contrived.” Goodbye, Good Men confirms the Archbishop’s statement. In many seminaries the very officials who determine who is admitted to their seminaries and who are allowed to continue to ordination are themselves theologically heterodox. Often these gatekeepers of our seminaries embrace such heretical views as the so-called ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood. Orthodox seminarians who follow the Pope and obey the Magisterium on this doctrine as well as other Church teachings are considered “rigid” and too conservative to serve the Church as priests. Not surprising in dioceses led by orthodox bishops such as Denver, Colorado; Arlington, Virginia; Lincoln, Nebraska; Peoria, Illinois; and Rockford, Illinois, vocations are flourishing. The ultimate responsibility for the deplorable state of many of our seminaries belongs to the bishops. If a bishop is not willing to eradicate the corruption in his diocesan seminary, he should have the decency to resign his office and allow the Pope to appoint a bishop who does have the courage to do what God expects him to do. Every informed Catholic should read Goodbye, Good Men, and encourage others to do the same.
The other “must read” is Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church by H.W. Crocker III. For those who are looking for an antidote to all the recent bad news regarding the Church and who want to read an exciting and enlightening history of the Catholic Church, Triumph is a God-send. Written with great intelligence and verve and profound love for his subject matter, Triumph is arguably the single best one volume history of the Catholic Church to appear since Vatican II. Cardinal Newman, in an often quoted line, once said that he who knows Church history ceases to be Protestant. Read Triumph and see why.
© 2002, Frederick J. Blonigen and Catholic Parents OnLine