A Contradictory Hero

“Ferocious power like that of the old Caesars can never again disgrace the leading civilizations of the world,” Frank Newman confidently predicted during the course of his lectures on ancient and modern history. Almost exactly one hundred years later a certain Lutheran pastor called Dietrich Bonhoeffer was taken from his …

Divine Dropouts

When is a Roman Catholic not a Roman Catholic? Or, to put it more bluntly, when is apostasy not apostasy? Each of these books poses the question in a different way. Early in December, 1966, subscribers to The Clergy Review were surprised to read a sentence written by its editor, …

Storm over the Catechism

The Age of Reason followed by the Age of Science wrecked the traditional presentation of Christianity. That they failed to wreck historical Roman Catholicism until our own time was largely owing to the authoritarian nature of that Church. From the intellectual point of view, Roman Catholics lived in a game …

Act II

If time is reckoned by months and years, it is not so very long since Mr. Blanshard published his bestseller American Freedom and Catholic Power. If, however, time is measured by change, so much has happened to the Roman Catholic Church in the short interval between the publication of that …

The Divided Catholics

Just before the Second Vatican Council opened, The New Yorker published a “Letter from Vatican City.” This was followed at the close of the session by another equally outspoken article describing and summarizing what had taken place. The measure of the distance we have traveled since then may be gauged …

Contraception and the Church

Today humanity is threatened from without by overpopulation and the possibility of thermonuclear destruction. It is threatened from within by the near collapse of any coherent religious system and the failure to regulate conduct in the light of agreed principles. Millions of people do not believe God exists. More millions …