Papal Sin


#1

Has anyone out there read the book titled Papal Sin by Garry Wills? I was given this book by a friend,a highly educated person and a fallen away Catholic.He read the book about the time the Church scandals were frontline news. He seems to agree with the author. He said to me " Here read this book, it all there. You’ll see how the Church covers things up". I didn"t know what to say.I was upset with myself because I didn’t know how to respond.
I was on my way home from work and I was able to catch part of Catholic Answers. It just happened that they were discussing this book Papal Sin. The program aired over two years ago. They metioned a book to read in response to Mister Garry Wills. I cant remember the author or title of the book that was mention. I want to return my friend’s book with this book with hopes that it will clarify things for him. Can anyone help out there?


#2

Wills hates the Church. He is an anti-Catholic bigot who still claims to be Catholic. The very worst kind. His facts and interpretations thereof are quite suspect. It always comes down to…why don’t you all just be like the Anglicans. Well, do they deal with the fact that Anglicans have plenty of scandals to deal with themselves? No, that would be insensitive. Wills and his ilk are using the scandals to forward a heretical agenda. They completely ignore the real causes ie. homosexuality and dissent. In fact people like Wills share the blame for these scandals by fostering a climate of dissent in the Church.


#3

I’ve read Papal Sin. While my dislike for it is not as virulent as Cestus’s, I’m not impressed with it.

The problem with this book (and with books like The Davinci Code, or Goodbye, Good Men, or for secular books, anything by the popular media pundits) is that it is written by someone with no real authority in the Church. It is also presenting a biased opinion of only one side of the story. There is enough factual evidence (for example- various dioceses really did cover for abusive priests) to make the susceptible believe that the entire book is true, and this is of course done on purpose to sell more books. Word-of-mouth sells, and if someone reads the book and says to his friends “Wow! This book tells all the secrets!”, those friends will want to read the book, and so on and so forth. And the half-truths and the untruths are propagated as if they were doctrine.

I wish I knew of a good book to give your friend. Goodbye, Good Men is the biased opinion of the other end of the spectrum and definitely not something that your friend is likely to take in any seriousness. Anyone else know of a good, balanced book- maybe one with an imprimatur or nihil obstat?


#4

I would suggest going to the Catholic Answers radio archives and finding the show and listening to it again:

catholic.com/radio.asp

You can even send him the link so he can listen to it himself.


#5

Satans getting Busy in the Church. People should pray to Micheal for him to go get busy elsewhere. Exorcising our churchs regularly would be a good start.


#6

Ok the liberal is jumping in here…

Willis is an idiot… his argumenst are full of holes and he hates anything the church stands for.


#7

Following is a concise review.

– Mark L. Chance.

Papal Sin: Structures of Deciet. By Garry Wills. Doubleday. 326 pp. $25.

The author laments the fact that Catholics “have fallen out of the healthy old habit of reminding each other how sinful popes can be.” Wills says that unlike the popes of old, whose overriding sins were greed, venality, and lust for temporal power, the modern popes, beginning with Pius IX, recruit Catholics into “structures of deceit” about Church doctrine and discipline. Early on, in the chapters on contraception, Wills appears to take the familiar “liberal” position that the popes and their apologists are guilty of thwarting authentic development of doctrine and of ignoring the sensus communis of the laity. He goes much further, however, condemning the following propositions: that Christ instituted a hierarchical priesthood; that Christ instituted an apostolic succession; that the presider at the Eucharist represents Christ; that the Eucharist is a corpus verum distinct from the worshiping community; that the local lay community lacks power to ordain; that Peter was Bishop of Rome; that Christ instituted a sacrament of marriage beyond that of the natural law; that masturbation, homosexual acts, or contraception are objectively disordered; that the human soul is directly infused by God; that the unborn have rights in a “preconversation state” or that abortion wrongfully takes the life of a human person; that the passion and death of Christ had any properly sacrificial component. The argument is at every step self-consuming. Rome is wrong to deny ordination to women, but by the same token it was wrong centuries ago about the nature of priesthood; Rome should have rendered a different judgment in the case of contraception, but there is no authentic apostolic authority to make such a judgment in the first place. Wills’ Syllabus errorum leaves virtually no room for what used to be the liberal understanding of the development of Catholic doctrine; as Wills surely understands, false doctrines are not said to “develop.” Having set out to give a few good whacks to the popes, he has convinced himself that the Roman Catholic Church is, for the most part, a false religion in captivity to a papal Antichrist. Such has been said before, and it has been said with much greater theological clarity and sophistication.


#8

[quote=cestusdei]Wills hates the Church. He is an anti-Catholic bigot who still claims to be Catholic. The very worst kind. His facts and interpretations thereof are quite suspect. It always comes down to…why don’t you all just be like the Anglicans. Well, do they deal with the fact that Anglicans have plenty of scandals to deal with themselves? No, that would be insensitive. Wills and his ilk are using the scandals to forward a heretical agenda. They completely ignore the real causes ie. homosexuality and dissent. In fact people like Wills share the blame for these scandals by fostering a climate of dissent in the Church.
[/quote]

Gary Wills deserves the STAKE ! Evil dissent is NOT allowed !


#9

I inherited a copy of that book when I moved into my current apartment - the previous owner left it on the bookshelf. It is now propping up my alarm clock, and I must say it does a fine job of that.

I met Garry Wills a couple of years ago after a presentation he gave. I found him to be a bit pompous. He was also making generalizations about how “nobody believes this” or “everybody believes that” with respect to things like the Eucharist, contraception, etc., and I was left thinking that I must be a nobody, because I believe these things that supposedly nobody really believes. And he’s good at evading tough questions, e.g.

Guy in audience: I think you are basing some of your conclusions on faulty assumptions. For example, most Protestants I know believe… [proceeds with a very articulate, pointed question]

Garry Wills: So what part of Scotland are you from?

But I’m sure he’s not all bad. I’ve heard his non-church-related historical work is fine.


#10

[quote=Bobby Jim]I inherited a copy of that book when I moved into my current apartment - the previous owner left it on the bookshelf. It is now propping up my alarm clock, and I must say it does a fine job of that.

I met Garry Wills a couple of years ago after a presentation he gave. I found him to be a bit pompous. He was also making generalizations about how “nobody believes this” or “everybody believes that” with respect to things like the Eucharist, contraception, etc., and I was left thinking that I must be a nobody, because I believe these things that supposedly nobody really believes. And he’s good at evading tough questions, e.g.

Guy in audience: I think you are basing some of your conclusions on faulty assumptions. For example, most Protestants I know believe… [proceeds with a very articulate, pointed question]

Garry Wills: So what part of Scotland are you from?

But I’m sure he’s not all bad. I’ve heard his non-church-related historical work is fine.
[/quote]

It must not be moving very fast since its initial printing - I ordered a “VERY GOOD” copy from half.com for $ 1.45 - “BRAND NEW” copies are going for less than $ 4.00.

It’s always good to know the viewpoint from which an author is writing - there usually IS some bias - even in history books.


#11

I saw this Papal Sin on a bookstore bookshelf and almost bought it! Phew! Thank goodness for Catholic Answers. :thumbsup:


#12

The real shame of this book is that people on the edge, those feeling some negative feelings about the Church and those not having had a good catachesis will read it and feel justified in their ignorance. I have read it and would have to admit that even with my love for the Church, I felt some negativity afterwards. Perhaps because to some extent we all have experiences with the Church and its people that are sometimes negative. It is real easy to let those experiences “throw out the baby with the bathwater.”


#13

Agreed, rwoehmke.

It is a shame that people cannot distinguish between the human aspect of the Church, and the divine aspect.

It is also a shame that, because of the failure of many in the Church to show Christ’s love, such a distinction so often needs to be made.


#14

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