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Sep 05, Angela rated it liked it Shelves: religion , nonfiction , auto-biography , Now why is he a Catholic? I forget. Nov 08, Ian rated it liked it Shelves: religion-spirituality , nonfiction. First pages or so is the story of the author's Catholic upbringing and education. I could do without all that--I skipped most of it--but I understand the author's reasons for including all that background: 1 he wants you to understand where he's coming from; and 2 it's very important to the author that you know he doesn't hate the Church--indeed that he loves it.

The author's last book, Papal Sin , really pissed off a lot of people and sort of got the author kicked into an outer circle. S First pages or so is the story of the author's Catholic upbringing and education. Still, all that background seemed to me unnecessarily self-indulgent.

Oh, and it was boring. So if you want to skip the author's life story and get straight to the meat of the book, you're not missing anything important. Read the introduction and you'll get that the author loves the Church, then skip to the historical and theological analyses. The analyses are a little too stream-of-consciousness for me and the author generally assumes too much knowledge on the part of the reader sorry, dude, but I am not a Jesuit-trained theologian and I'm not going to be. Still, there's a lot of good stuff in there; very informative and enlightening stuff, and he argues his points of view pretty well.

I also appreciate the way the author takes you step-by-step from Peter to Paul to Ignatius and the other early bishops, and so on through church history; it's methodical and easy to follow.


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The history is well presented to make the author's points about what he loves--and doesn't love--about the Church. You will find Why I am a Catholic especially useful if, like me, you're new at this Catholic thing but you're not new to Christianity. If you're new to Christianity this will be too advanced, definately assuming more knowledge than you're likely to have.

But if you have a strong historical and theological background, either from academics or from a strong Protestant background I'm in the latter category , this book is just about right. View 2 comments. Oct 18, Jen rated it it was amazing.

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Fair warning right up front: this is a really dense book that is not for the casual reader. Wills opens with some charming reminiscences of his early forays into the faith and what it meant to Be Catholic, then launches into a detailed history of all the reasons any right-minded person would run like hell from Catholicism.

It's an epic survey of the history of the Church through the lens of the popes; Wills catalogs their successes, their many failures, their impact or lack thereof on the pe Fair warning right up front: this is a really dense book that is not for the casual reader. It's an epic survey of the history of the Church through the lens of the popes; Wills catalogs their successes, their many failures, their impact or lack thereof on the people of the Church, and the ways in which they have been bypassed or otherwise lovingly circumvented over the years.

It's a fascinating overview that I will definitely keep around as a reference tool for future classes, but it is a lot of information, so be warned. After you reach Johnny Paul this was written before Emperor Papaltine became pope , you're pretty sure the title is a flat-out trick, because surely no one wants to be involved with that kind of church.

But then, in the third part, Wills teases out each piece of the Creed with such love, acceptance, and patience that you realize exactly why this matters to him. His re-translation of the Pater Noster is also just brilliant, and, while I myself am not converting any time soon, I totally get why he is a Catholic. A magnificent work that is well-worth the read. Secondary review here. Jun 29, Karina marked it as to-read Shelves: unsorted. This book was mentioned in The New Anti-Catholicism , and I'd like to read it sometime to see for myself why on earth the author still chooses to call himself Catholic.

My church loyalties: Why I am not yet a Catholic

Jenkins quotes from this article regarding another book by Garry Wills : "In the course of the book, he rejects the teaching authority of the Church if exercised without lay involvement and agreement, the concept of papal infallibility and any possibility of divine guidance to papal teaching,the ordained priesthood, the doctrine of This book was mentioned in The New Anti-Catholicism , and I'd like to read it sometime to see for myself why on earth the author still chooses to call himself Catholic.

Jenkins quotes from this article regarding another book by Garry Wills : "In the course of the book, he rejects the teaching authority of the Church if exercised without lay involvement and agreement, the concept of papal infallibility and any possibility of divine guidance to papal teaching,the ordained priesthood, the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and that the priest has the sacramental power alone to consecrate the Eucharist. Apostolic succession, the Immaculate Conception and Assumption, and Church teaching on homosexuality are dismissed as well.

For the most part, the right for the Church to teach at all in the area of sexual morality is generally dismissed if it involves the actions of consenting adults. Apparently, women should be ordained, and priestly celibacy should be abolished. Weird, right? Those are pretty significant differences, but he still thinks himself a Catholic. Oh well, I'll read it sometime, not a priority. Jul 13, Patricia rated it really liked it. I was impressed with the honesty of the book and, in the end, the real simplicity of faith that underlies his choice to remain a Catholic.

I find it a common choice, truly, for many Catholics who have explored their faith with an intellectual and historically minded perspective. I do think that if you are not vested in following his line of thought through to its end, you would find the litany of papal failings disheartening. I very much enjoyed his examination of The Lords Prayer, which I had n I was impressed with the honesty of the book and, in the end, the real simplicity of faith that underlies his choice to remain a Catholic.

I very much enjoyed his examination of The Lords Prayer, which I had not considered previously, I must admit.

I'm No Longer a Catholic. Why Are You? | HuffPost

I found it useful to examine the idea of daily bread referring to a less literal and mundane meaning -- his take on it resonated with me and I wondered I had never considered it from this angle after decades of using this prayer. It was good to say it now with deeper meaning.

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I think the final chapters seem rushed, which can give one pause given this is really where he proclaims the root of his faith. Perhaps, however, our faith often has a simplicity, in the end, that ends up seeming abrupt compared with the litany of doubt we humans are capable of generating. Mar 05, Ginger Carraway rated it really liked it. I know why I am Catholic, I wouldn't know how to be anything else. I love the Mass and my faith community.


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I especially love Easter vigil, watching the newest Catholics coming into the Church. I liked his book very much. Sep 20, Kathy added it. I stopped reading this book. The title intrigued me but the content became so difficult to read that I could not finish it. Apr 12, Martha rated it it was ok.

Jan 10, Steve Herman rated it liked it. He remained a devout Catholic, and wanted to explain why. The first fifty pages describe his upbringing as a devout Catholic.

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He wanted to become a priest, and attended a seminary, but rejected its conservative viewpoint and left. But he remained a devout Catholic. The next pages review papal history, a stream of sin, corruption, and incompetence. Wills concurred, and added that medieval popes were even worse. He believes this more than compensates for its profusion of sin, crime, and error. In fact, I think the apostles would have serious reservations about it.

Nov 15, Ci rated it it was amazing Shelves: re-read-books. There are three distinct segments of this book 1 the author's Catholic upbringing and growth 2 the church history without and with papal primacy, key changes of Vatican II 3 the author's understanding of the creed. In the part 1 , the author described his childhood to his formative years in the Catholic educational system, and influence of G.

Chesterton in his moment of spiritual crisis. I found this segment emotional genuine and engagingly personal. The part 2 largely eluded me at th There are three distinct segments of this book 1 the author's Catholic upbringing and growth 2 the church history without and with papal primacy, key changes of Vatican II 3 the author's understanding of the creed. The part 2 largely eluded me at this point since I knew nor care little about the history of Papacy. However the part 3 may be most intellectually insightful and relevant for the title "why I am a Catholic".

Here Wills demonstrated both his scholarship and his devotion to the core of Catholicism -- Apostle's Creed and Lord's Prayer. It surprised me that Lord's Prayer is interpreted by the author in the eschatological context page , since the "temptation" is not the usual concept of alluring by evils but the great "Trial" or "Test" at the end of the time.

That is really a different thing all together. Checking on other sources, it turned out that Wills' version is a known one, along with non-eschatological interpretations. This book is well researched with dense historical data and analysis. But it is not an academic exercise nor a pure biography. It has balanced on the meeting point of theology and personal history. Jul 16, Lynn rated it really liked it. I am reading this book now. In spite of its name, it is not written to persuade one to be a Catholic.

Gary Wills, an adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, wrote this in response to the reaction to another book he wrote, "Papal Sins".