Book Reviews

Rabbi David G. Dalin: The Myth of Hitler’s Pope

September 19, 2005

by William Doino, Jr. (Catalyst 9/2005) Every day, the secular media bombards us with the idea that the Catholic Church is a backward, repressive institution, unfair to its own members and prejudiced against those outside its communion. Is it any wonder that so many Jews, and other non-Catholics—not to mention “anti-Catholic Catholics”... [Read more...]


March 13, 2005

By Ronald Rychlak For about 20 years, author John Cornwell wrote as a disenchanted, former Catholic. Some of his early books sold well, but he really hit the big time in the past five years. He still writes books highly critical of the Catholic Church. Now, however, he writes not as a bitter former seminarian, but as a Catholic who is more ‘hurt and... [Read more...]

Tim LaHaye: The Left Behind Series

December 19, 2004

  by Carl E. Olson (Catalyst 12/2004) Two years ago I was engaged in an e-mail exchange with a Fundamentalist pastor, who wrote: But as an effort to still save your soul, if indeed my concerns for you are true, may I urge you to reexamine the Mariolatry of the Church you have bought into. I will not badger you with the unscriptural practice of making... [Read more...]

Susan Jacoby: Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

October 19, 2004

by William A. Donohue (Catalyst 10/2004) “It is no secret that the Bush administration is engaged in the most radical assault on the separation of church and state in American history.” When I first read that sentence, I wondered about the sanity of the author. Upon reflection, I still do. Susan Jacoby, who penned that line last spring, is not ready... [Read more...]

Jimmy Breslin: The Church that Forgot Christ

September 19, 2004

by Kenneth Woodward (Catalyst 9/2004) Ostensibly, this is a book about the clergy abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. But like everything Breslin writes, it is really about himself. Or rather, it is about him writing a book about clergy abuse. He wants us to know that he has lost faith in the church of his childhood. “I need no person... [Read more...]

Robert Katz: The Battle for Rome: The Germans, the Allies, the Partisans, and the Pope

May 19, 2004

by Ronald Rychlak (Catalyst 5/2004) During World War II and for years after it ended, Pope Pius XII was heralded as a staunch opponent of the Nazis and a champion of their victims. Then in 1963, as the result of a piece of fiction written by German playwright Rolf Hochhuth, a controversy arose about whether the Pope had been sufficiently outspoken about... [Read more...]

Sister Margherita Marchione: Crusade of Charity: Pius XII and POW’s

April 19, 2004

by Eugene J. Fisher (Catalyst 4/2006) Patrick J. Gallo, editor, Pius XII, the Holocaust and the Revisionists: Essays. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co, 2006. 218 pages. PB. NP. Sister Margherita Marchione, Crusade of Charity: Pius XII and POW’s (1939-1945). New York: Paulist Press, 2006. 284 pages. Ronald J. Rychlak, Righteous Gentiles: How Pius... [Read more...]

Daniel Silva: The Confessor

July 19, 2003

by Kenneth D. Whitehead (book review, Catalyst 7/2003) Daniel Silva, The Confessor,  New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2003.  HB; 401 pages. $29.95. What Notre Dame philosophy professor Ralph McInerny has aptly called “the defamation of Pius XII”—in his excellent book with that title—has unfortunately been so widely successful... [Read more...]

Daniel Dreisbach: Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State

March 19, 2003

by Joseph De Feo (Catalyst 3/2003) Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote, “A phrase begins life as a literary expression; its felicity leads to its lazy repetition; and repetition soon establishes it as a legal formula, undiscriminatingly used to express different and sometimes contradictory ideas.” The foregoing lines represent an apt condensation of... [Read more...]

John Cornwell: The Pontiff in Winter: Triumph and Conflict in the Reign of John Paul II

March 19, 2003

by Ronald Rychlak (Catalyst 3/2005) John Cornwell’s new book, Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, turns out to be a deeply flawed attack on Pope John Paul II. That’s right, the final chapter is actually an attack on the current plaintiff. Cornwell is disturbed by John Paul’s “conservative” positions on... [Read more...]

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