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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Decline & Fall of the Catholic Church in America, by David Carlin

This book is a historical account of the sociological trend of the Catholic Church in America from pre 1960 to 2003, when the book was published. It is a thorough study that can be summed up as how the factors of Vatican II, the end of the Catholic "ghetto" (or, the end of the US Catholic Church's separation from outside influences, such as Protestantism and culture) and the cultural revolution of the 1960's and early 70's led to the great decline in the Catholic Church in America. Actually, the author is so thorough, he explains the factors the influenced the identity of America before it became a nation through the emergence of secularism. Going from Christan to Judeo-Christian to what is now (not specifically identified), but is most certainly non-Christian.

Although it is a sociological study, it is easy to read and for me, it was hard to put down. Even more, it seems to parallel what is going on in mainstream Protestant Churches that is leading to the decline of Christianity as a whole. The author demonstrates what happens when churches try to become ecumenical, which results in a loss of particular beliefs and compromise that washes away Christianity. This is also the result of identifying denominations and accepting all denominations as equal. The Catholic Church cannot survive when it accepts denominations that are in complete opposition or in any degree of opposition to their beliefs as being equal. It's a recipe for disaster and results in loss of membership as well as the loss of true Catholics - those that firmly believe and practice all aspects of Catholicism.

The author even covers the sex scandals - this is truly a thorough and eye opening book on the decline and fall of Catholicism in America. Trying not to end on a negative note, the author suggests how the Catholic Church in America can recover and become a great church again. This part of the book is also an enlightening eye opener.

Easy to read and well written. I highly recommend this book to Catholics as well and Protestants. We all can learn important lessons from this book.

Sophia Institute Press sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review.

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