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The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul

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"Courageous and inspiring."--Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God "James Carroll takes us to the heart of one of the great crises of our times."--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve An eloquent memoir by a former priest and National Book Award-winning writer who traces the roots of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal back to the power structure of the Church its "Courageous and inspiring."--Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God "James Carroll takes us to the heart of one of the great crises of our times."--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve An eloquent memoir by a former priest and National Book Award-winning writer who traces the roots of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal back to the power structure of the Church itself, as he explores his own crisis of faith and journey to renewal James Carroll weaves together the story of his quest to understand his personal beliefs and his relationship to the Catholic Church with the history of the Church itself. From his first awakening of faith as a boy to his gradual disillusionment as a Catholic, Carroll offers a razor-sharp examination both of himself and of how the Church became an institution that places power and dominance over people through an all-male clergy. Carroll argues that a male-supremacist clericalism is both the root cause and the ongoing enabler of the sexual abuse crisis. The power structure of clericalism poses an existential threat to the Church and compromises the ability of even a progressive pope like Pope Francis to advance change in an institution accountable only to itself. Carroll traces this dilemma back to the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, when Scripture, Jesus Christ, and His teachings were reinterpreted as the Church became an empire. In a deeply personal re-examination of self, Carroll grapples with his own feelings of being chosen, his experiences as a priest, and the moments of doubt that made him leave the priesthood and embark on a long personal journey toward renewal--including his tenure as an op-ed columnist at The Boston Globe writing about sexual abuse in the Church. Ultimately, Carroll calls on the Church and all reform-minded Catholics to revive the culture from within by embracing anti-clerical, anti-misogynist resistance and staying grounded in the spirit of love that is the essential truth at the heart of Christian belief and Christian life.


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"Courageous and inspiring."--Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God "James Carroll takes us to the heart of one of the great crises of our times."--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve An eloquent memoir by a former priest and National Book Award-winning writer who traces the roots of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal back to the power structure of the Church its "Courageous and inspiring."--Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God "James Carroll takes us to the heart of one of the great crises of our times."--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve An eloquent memoir by a former priest and National Book Award-winning writer who traces the roots of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal back to the power structure of the Church itself, as he explores his own crisis of faith and journey to renewal James Carroll weaves together the story of his quest to understand his personal beliefs and his relationship to the Catholic Church with the history of the Church itself. From his first awakening of faith as a boy to his gradual disillusionment as a Catholic, Carroll offers a razor-sharp examination both of himself and of how the Church became an institution that places power and dominance over people through an all-male clergy. Carroll argues that a male-supremacist clericalism is both the root cause and the ongoing enabler of the sexual abuse crisis. The power structure of clericalism poses an existential threat to the Church and compromises the ability of even a progressive pope like Pope Francis to advance change in an institution accountable only to itself. Carroll traces this dilemma back to the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, when Scripture, Jesus Christ, and His teachings were reinterpreted as the Church became an empire. In a deeply personal re-examination of self, Carroll grapples with his own feelings of being chosen, his experiences as a priest, and the moments of doubt that made him leave the priesthood and embark on a long personal journey toward renewal--including his tenure as an op-ed columnist at The Boston Globe writing about sexual abuse in the Church. Ultimately, Carroll calls on the Church and all reform-minded Catholics to revive the culture from within by embracing anti-clerical, anti-misogynist resistance and staying grounded in the spirit of love that is the essential truth at the heart of Christian belief and Christian life.

51 review for The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Jennings

    This is a beautifully written story about the Catholic Church... and all of it's frailties... And the author, James Carroll has done this subject justice... If you ever want to get a seriously comprehensive history on this topic...this is the best book I've ever read on the topic... Absolutely an astounding read...much recommended... This is a beautifully written story about the Catholic Church... and all of it's frailties... And the author, James Carroll has done this subject justice... If you ever want to get a seriously comprehensive history on this topic...this is the best book I've ever read on the topic... Absolutely an astounding read...much recommended...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Serge

    Autobiographical elements (particular the confessions about adolescent rebellion and the sadism of his early priests) frame this act of conscience/iconoclasm and offer insight into Carroll's jeremiad against clericalism, male supremacy and the theological denigration of women within the Catholic Church . I think that he (willfully) misinterprets Anselm's claims about the Incarnation (Cur Deus Homo) and subsumes these in service of atonement (solely) as satisfaction. I think his indictment of Aug Autobiographical elements (particular the confessions about adolescent rebellion and the sadism of his early priests) frame this act of conscience/iconoclasm and offer insight into Carroll's jeremiad against clericalism, male supremacy and the theological denigration of women within the Catholic Church . I think that he (willfully) misinterprets Anselm's claims about the Incarnation (Cur Deus Homo) and subsumes these in service of atonement (solely) as satisfaction. I think his indictment of Augustine's reprobate Manichaeism hits the mark more persuasively and that he connects the theological dots that bind "sexual neurosis, ecclesiastical dishonesty, desire displaced into power, male dominance, demonization of deviance" as the foundational sin of the contemporary Catholic Church. Carroll owes a debt to continental existentialism that he does not fully acknowledge (the Camus quote is revelatory but I suspect Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor is just under the surface of the prosecutorial zeal that Carroll exhibits). I think that Carroll remains quite anxious that there may be no salvation outside the church (nulla salus). While he rejects a God of apocalyptic whimsy, he still seeks a God of unconditional love (GMH's"God's Grandeur" is a telling tidbit). He writes wistfully of (St?)Pope John XXIII's aggiornamento and mourns the lost opportunity of Vatican II (undone by "the institutional corruption of clericalism" according to Carroll). I appreciated his repudiation (in the name of Vatican II) of the rank biblical fundamentalism that has fueled the mean season of the Catholic Right.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter Schmitt

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    Theresa Gallant

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    Efranken

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    Steven D. Cron

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    Vance J.

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    kathleen w. fitzgerald

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    Monica K Mori

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    Cecile Brennan

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    Richard Callanan

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    William V. Coleman

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    David

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    Richard V. Myers Jr.

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    Cal

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    Random House Book Club

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    Meg

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    Leigh Anne

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    Bettye Short

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  50. 5 out of 5

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