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Truth of Catholicism [Paperback]

George Weigel

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First Sentence
The great English novelist Evelyn Waugh once described his Catholic life as "an endless delighted tour of discovery in the huge territory of which I was made free." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening 24 Jan 2003
By just bein' Frank - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mr. Weigel, an eminent Catholic theologian, truly does the Church a service by explaining in depth the reasoning behind some of Catholicism's most controversial positions. Whether you are a committed Catholic or an ex-Catholic, you will benefit from this book.
The one aspect of "The Truth of Catholicism" that stands out in my mind is its philosophical/theological approach to issues. This isn't a conventional book in the sense that one can "open" to "the" chapter on, say, contraception and find answers. Mr. Weigel's book is brilliantly cumulative; that is, understanding of succeeding topics depends on understanding of certain Catholic principles and concepts that he spells out before discussing the actual "controversies." "The Truth of Catholicism," for me, was eye opening because it explained these bedrock principles that, as a Catholic, even I had not understood or been aware of. It really gave me an appreciation for the sheer depth of Catholic philosophy and thinking.
My only complaint is that the book was just too short! Regrettably, the author leaves some to be desired on the issues of divorce and ordination of women. As I was reading I wanted to dialogue with Mr. Weigel, ask him questions about this or that conclusion. But I do recommend the book wholeheartedly!
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apologetics with Panache 13 Sep 2004
By Rich Leonardi - Published on
Weigel explains the ten "controversies" that critics of the Faith usually challenge Catholics to defend, e.g., the all-male priesthood, the Church's teaching on sexuality, and the Church as the sacrament of salvation.

In less than two hundred pages, he provides succinct, faithful explanations footnoted to official documents like the Cathecism of the Catholic Church.

This book is highly recommended to the lightly-catechized as a way to explore the Faith "from the inside", as Evelyn Waugh once put it, and to other Catholics seeking a chartitable way of explaining truths to critics both inside and outside the Church.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A teaching essential for students of Catholicism 6 Jan 2005
By Kathleen D. Pacyna - Published on
Thank God someone has finally stepped up to the plate and dared to take on the questions of "What do Catholics actually believe and WHY do Catholics believe this?" in a tone that suggests there might actually be some meaning behind the doctrine of this monumental institution. From the first page, Weigel establishes exactly how he will respond to the ever-present critics and cynics who keep the Catholic Church constantly in their sight: truthfully, carefully, and without apology. What a refreshing change in a cultural climate that suggests the Church exists for something other than the mission on which its foundations were originally established.

While I ultimately love and appreciate the content of this book, especially a light but accessible treatment of the true theology behind Catholic doctrine, I give the book four stars and not five because of a specific detail that, for me, detracts a bit from the overall point of the book. Weigel's clear and undying devotion to Pope John Paul II, a figure who was also the focus of a Weigel biography, clouds any attempt at an objective treatment of problematic doctrinal issues. I think some of the problems that create such cynicsm when it comes to the Church today are glossed over in an attempt to "protect" the portrayal of this man. While I completely understand the intention, this fact does seem to taint some of his credibility in reaching the people who may be questioning some of the decisions of the hierarchy of the Church. While Pope John Paul II has been a great positive force in the Church, he hasn't been the sole positive force in the Church which is a claim that Weigel implies at times.

Overall, this is the best book I've found for answers to some very complex questions. For a faith that, at times, appears completely countercultural, often for no good reason, this book gently but surely straightens out any misconceptions and paints a reasonable picture of the thought behind the belief.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Introduction 28 Sep 2007
By Kevin Birnbaum - Published on
The Truth of Catholicism is a good introduction to some of the Catholic beliefs and issues that are most commonly misunderstood and opposed by both non-Catholics and Catholics. George Weigel provides clear explanations of the Church's positions on such hot-button issues as the all-male priesthood, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, ecumenism, and salvation. Weigel writes with wit, style, and charity, and he never dumbs down the truth of the Catholic faith, which is the great strength of his book. I would recommend this book to curious Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Succinct 31 Mar 2007
By Isaac Jogues - Published on
Mr. Weigel is a gifted author and this book clearly explains the basis for many Catholic practices and beliefs. I highly recommend it for any Catholic, ex-Catholic or critic of the Catholic Church.
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