Vicars of Christ the Dark Side

Peter DeRosa, Author Crown Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57027-2
De Rosa ( Prayers for Pagans and Hypocrites ) is an angry Catholic. In the worst proselytizing tradition, this devil's advocate overstates familiar arguments, bludgeoning the reader with his dossier against the Church. Among De Rosa's tamer charges: Jesus renounced possessions, but his vicars celebrate high mass garbed in cloth of gold; the Church has never lifted strictures against usury, yet the Vatican operates a bank. De Rosa sweeps through Church history to parade popes who begat children, popes who fornicated on a grand scale, popes who married. Then in the second half of this polemic, he addresses Church teaching, conjoining the ``immaculate conception'' doctrine to decrees governing birth control, abortion, celibacy. The doctrine of papal infallibility is dealt with, as is Church anti-Semitism through the ages leading to the Holocaust silence of Pius XII, the ``one man in the world whose witness Hitler feared.'' And in wrapping up his catalog of ``the sins of the papacy,'' De Rosa virtually dismisses internal reform: ``It is not Catholics but other Christians who chiefly can make the papacy what it ought to be.'' ( Jan. )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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