Book: "Why I am Catholic" by Garry Wills


I picked this book up today on my way home from mass and running errands beacause the title caught my eye and the description from the back cover made it seem like a good read.

I went home and began to read. I could not even get past the introduction. I am going to try and return the book later this afternoon.

I can’t exactly place why I felt so uncomfortable w/ the books content. To me it seemed dangerous… It seemed like Wills was painting a very inacurate portrate of the papacy. It also struck me that he was encouraging Catholics to deny select Church teaching (i.e. issues like contraceptives and abotion).

Have any of you read this book?

What did you think of it?

I felt a little shocked to say the least. :shrug:


I’ve not personally read anything by Mr. Wills…for a reason.

You have to consider, though, that his books are actually intended to be digested by a largely secular culture, not pious, practicing Catholics like you and I. If he manages to convince a single fencesitter or lapsed Catholic to come home, even if that means momentarily holding on to errant beliefs regarding some Churc teachings, then all the better. In that respect, I can commend what Mr. Wills is doing, which is contrary to the more popular unorthodox writings being published and carried by all major bookstore chains.


I had that book at one time- it went into the trash before I could finish it. It seemed sacriligious, and I didn’t need that kind of reading at that point in my life, so I threw it away. It could be helpful to someone who is secularized and is asking themselves why they should keep their Catholic identity- I can think of better books that could accomplish the same goal though.


It’s books like this that seem sacriligious that make me sad becaues they are giving people a false impression of catholocism.


Check out this concurrent thread re: Gary Wills.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit