Book Review: In The Eye of the Catholic Storm – The Church Since Vatican II

I was disappointed with In the Eye of the Catholic Storm: The Church Since Vatican II by Mary Jo Leddy, Bishop Remi de Roo and Douglas Roche. This book presents a series of conversation between the authors in 1991 about topics facing the modern Church especially in light of Vatican II.

Unfortunately, the authors seem to have fallen into the idea that Vatican II somehow wanted the radical and drastic changes that they themselves feel fit. For example, on page 47 Roche says, “… women clearly should be eligible for the priesthood…” He is “…unable to understand how the Church can on the one hand affirm the equality of all at baptism and on the other hand exclude women from the ordained ministry.” Leddy on page 46 call theological positions defending a male only ordained priesthood as …”theological prostitution”. I will not get into the argument here, but Pope John Pual II a few years after the publication of the book, would claim the Church has no power to ordain female priest. Quite frankly, these authors had failed drastically to understand a practice of the Church and the reasons for it. Pope John Pual II did not even define anything other than confirm the historic teaching of the Church. Jesus himself had an all-male priesthood of apostles. Was Jesus using theological prostitution to support an outdated cultural norm? Of course, Pope John Pual offered some great insights. The reader can perform the research themselves.

The authors also support Birth Control. On page 63 Leddy states that since the majority of Catholics support birth control that “… the hierarchy had better listen.” On page 56 Roche claims it was “… an inappropriate use of ecclesiastical authority…” to say birth control is immoral. Unfortunately for the authors, as they are well aware, Pope Paul VI taught clearly and definitely that it is part of the ordinary magisterium and hence guarded from error that birth control is gravely immoral. The authors need to check their egos on this one and repent. One author also mentions Jean Vanier on topics of sexuality. In the light of how we now know, that Jean Vanier sexually abused vulnerable people, it just reeks of creepy. At least when the author was alive such allegations had not come to light.

I stopped reading at page 76 of 195. The two critical errors above were enough to prove to me that the information in the book was not to be trusted. I give this one a low score overall.


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