I mainly lurk the sites and enjoy them immensely since my husband and I have differing views about Catholicism. We are both cradle Catholics, but he has gone a more Protestant route through his college years and beyond.
The Gospel According to ROme is written by an ex-Catholic by the name of Mcarthy. I was wondering if anyone could comment on this book and shed some insight to his point of view , etc. that would help me navigate the book with my husband. It is a book speaking against the Catholic faith and I am bewildred about what he says, etc. To be frank, it confuses me. I think the main question is…in regards to tradition vs. scripture…what tradition was handed down by the Council of Trent in the 1500’s that could speak more clearly on why Catholics do what they do. Essentially, the book covers everything since those councils, but are there any books out there that speak about what information -oral tradition and otherwise was included in the COuncil of Trent, that being the first council!!!
I guess I have 2 questions then. ONe being an opinion on the book and its validity according to you, the reader of this post…and the other being if one knows a book that speaks more accurately of the early church and the formation of the Catholic church and the first council, which I believe was the Council of Trent.
I am essentially trying to piece together the early days of Christ’s resurrection and the formation of the various sacraments that have been passed down through time. I know this is a big quest. Where do I start? IT is the only way my husband and I are going to figure this out.
- As for this book…
It’s not surprising that you’re confused by this book. It’s written by an ex-Catholic, and ex-Catholics are confused by definition. Confused people write confusing books.
Protestants reject Sacred Tradition. (If they didn’t, they’d still be Catholics.) And that’s really all this book appears to be – a rejection of Sacred Tradition in the name of sola scriptura. Protestants seem to think that if a doctrine isn’t spelled out clearly, explicitly, practically word-for-word in the Bible, it isn’t acceptable. They appear not to grasp the notion that something could be clearly implicit.
- As for the Council of Trent…
The Council of Trent was the Church’s response to the Reformation, and it produced a document called the Roman Catechism (aka the “Catechism of the Council of Trent.”)
From the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Council:
“The nineteenth ecumenical council opened at Trent on 13 December, 1545, and closed there on 4 December, 1563. Its main object was the definitive determination of the doctrines of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants; a further object was the execution of a thorough reform of the inner life of the Church by removing the numerous abuses that had developed in it.”
From the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Roman Catechism:
“This catechism differs from other summaries of Christian doctrine for the instruction of the people in two points: it is primarily intended for priests having care of souls (ad parochos), and it enjoys an authority equalled by no other catechism. The need of a popular authoritative manual arose from a lack of systematic knowledge among pre-Reformation clergy and the concomitant neglect of religious instruction among the faithful.”
In other words, it was created to correct the problems that gave rise to the Reformation in the first place. It examines the creed, the sacraments, the Decalogue, and the Our Father.
You can find it here:
Catechism of the Council of Trent
Let’s face it, Catholicism isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s hard work–morally, spiritually, and intellectually. But this fact is no objection to it. In my opinion, some people don’t see the necessity of the work. That’s too bad.