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Angelo Esposito (Milan, Italy)

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What Happened at Vatican II
What Happened at Vatican II
by John W. Omalley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.56

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Real Change, 13 Jun. 2012
Much to its credit, unlike other books on this subject, this author does an excellent job of drawing a line between earlier councils--Vatican I (papal infallibility) and the Council of Trent (sinfulness of sex) and Vatican II.

Yet, most of the `real' changes in the twentieth century in the Church--including many liturgical changes--have had nothing to do with Vatican II: relaxation of the confessional, meat on Fridays, female altar servers, ensoulment of artificially inseminated children, baptism by intent, salvation for suicides, all the way up to Benedict's acceptance of the `big bang' theory on January 7, 2012 annihilating the cornerstone (Creation) of the Old Testament. It is changes enacted by the Holy See much more than Vatican II which is moving the Church day-by-day into a modern world.

Though not its central focus, one of few books that includes a comprehensive analysis of twentieth century progressions in the Church vs. Vatican II is Murder in the Vatican: The CIA and the Bolshevik Pontiff .

Yet, we need a book that concentrates solely on the differences between Vatican II and advancements made by sitting pontiffs. I think O'Malley is the one for the job.

Three stars above average in my book. I've read many Vatican II books and this is the best one so far. It should be on the shelf of everyone interested in what went on in Vatican II. This book should be made available on Kindle. For now, I reserve the five stars for his next book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 13, 2012 5:08 PM BST


God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
by Christopher Hitchens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...I read your book!", 25 Jan. 2011
Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer

In the motion picture `Patton,' the general bellows out over the battlefield with Rommel's tanks running off in defeat, "Rommel, you magnificent s.o.b., I read your book."

Hitchens read the enemy's book and Dawkins did not. Hitchens destroys the scriptural foundation of `God,' whereas Dawkins allows the `sheep' to follow each other over the cliff. Yes, Dawkins gives the `sheep' the facts--they will kill themselves. But, their faith tells them they are going to heaven. Faith comes from `God.' Who would they believe? The `God' who made them, or a common man?

Dawkins satisfies the unbeliever in his conviction but allows the believer to reap his toll. Hitchens gets the job done by demolishing the believer--the enemy of humanity.

Another book that goes after the believer--even more successfully--is Lucien Gregoire's `Murder in the Vatican,' I call it `The Atheist Pope.'

John Paul I who survived only 33 days in the Vatican had been brought up by an atheist father. He did not believe a ghost had appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and that this same ghost had contracted itself from the far reaches of space into a human body--Christ.

What's more, he did not believe in more recent ghosts. I had grown up in his diocese when he was a bishop--he often referred to Bernadette and Fatima as `cults.' He would say, "If we are to have a true church it must be built on truth, not on myth." He wanted to change the Church from a sect of ghosts reaping destruction on humanity into a real Church helping humanity.

I would get them both. Also, add 'The Portable Atheist' to your list.

Murder in the Vatican: The CIA and the Bolshevik Pontiff


The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer
by Christopher Hitchens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Atheist Pope, 24 Jan. 2011
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Being a nephew of the archbishop of Florence, I had the opportunity to meet the Atheist Pope who survived only 33 days in the Vatican. I was visiting my uncle Giovanni Benelli who was conducting an audit of the Vatican bank when John Paul stumbled into the room.

The discussion focused on John Paul's declaration the day before, "God is more our Mother than She is our Father." A newspaper had suggested he had denounced the existence of the supernatural creature which is said to occupy the inner and outreaches of space one thinks of as `Him.' The article concluded the Pope was referring to `God' as `Mother Nature.' My uncle later told me the article was correct, John Paul had referred to `God' as `Mother Nature.'

It was well known John Paul, having been dominated by an atheist father, had atheistic tendencies. It was obvious he did not believe in ghosts--he did not believe a ghost had appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and that this same ghost had contracted itself into a human body--Christ. Yet, he was a firm believer in the ideology of Christ.

I had grown up in John Paul's diocese when he was a bishop and used to deliver his newspapers. I knew he did not believe in the ghosts of more recent times--visionary saints--he had often referred to Bernadette and Fatima as `cults.'

When John Paul sensed the discussion may have damaged my faith, he smiled at me, "Anyone has a right to believe in ghosts. But, when they claim this ghost or that ghost told a man of motive of ancient times some people are better than others and the others are to be subordinated, enslaved or annihilated, that's where your uncle and I must step in."

When I first read `The Portable Atheist' I was struck by the similarity of Lucien Gregoire's `Murder in the Vatican'--the only Vatican uncensored biog of the Atheist Pope. Hitchens does a brilliant job in confirming the convictions of the unbeliever while Gregoire does and equally convincing job of correcting the misconceptions of the believer. Two great books. Put them on your shelf. Put them on your gift list.

Murder in the Vatican: The CIA and the Bolshevik Pontiff


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