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

Random. Mar. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780593134702. $28.99. REL
Born into a devoutly Catholic family as the son of an army general, Carroll attended Catholic schools all through college and entered the Paulist order, receiving his seminary education as Vatican II was progressing. Assigned as chaplain to the Catholic Newman Center at Boston University, he participated (much to the chagrin of his parents) in anti-war protest. Five years after ordination, he left the priesthood to become a full-time writer. He has written 12 novels, several works of history, many essays, and a previous memoir. The present work combines a reflection on his life with a critique of what he sees as the clericalism of the Catholic Church; the ground, in his view, of its misogyny and the abuse crisis. He offers several suggestions for returning the Church to something more attuned to what he believes Jesus intended. As with most of his works, the author’s passion comes through even as he recounts historical events, very much through his lens, for which he has sometimes been criticized by academic historians.
VERDICT A well-written, passionate critique of the current state of the Catholic Church by one who, to a certain extent despite himself, still respects and admires it.
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