On My Bookshelf: Letter to a Suffering Church

Suffering Church booksMy boss gave me a copy of Bishop Barron’s book. It’s a quick read–about an hour. It covers all the bases: victims, survivors, clergy, bishops, and outraged laity. The author’s name will get this book attention, sales, and reads, but he writes it, as he says, as something of a private citizen of the Church.

It’s written for people who are in the Church, probably two categories. First, the people who watch, read, and buy his offerings. The book reads like one of his film narrations. The style will be familiar. The anger and frustration shared.

Two, people who are in the flock, but ready to bolt. Bishop Barron devotes a lot of traditional Catholic reasons to why people should stay. He suggests they stay and fight. The first act should attend to their salvation through the sacraments. The second–I’m not sure what people can fight against.

Successful predators can escape notice until much damage is done. As for bishops, the loss of trust is wide and deep. No sensible person wants to fight against them. We’re not quite sure if they are all on the same side as those of us who are concerned. It’s a wait-and-see time. The time might be over in a generation or two.

The publicity informs that a million copies are in print. Not all sold yet, but the proceeds go to the cause of survivors. It’s not a long read, and if you’re interested in a frank, honest, and angry commentary, go for it. It doesn’t shed any new light. If you are a follower of this author, he might convince you if you are considering leaving the Church. But the book is aimed at “good” Catholics. Others may not find it edifying.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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