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Showing posts with label Philip F. Lawler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philip F. Lawler. Show all posts

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock

An important new book by Catholic journalist Philip F. Lawler


Faithful Catholics are beginning to realize it’s not their imagination. Pope Francis has led them on a journey from joy to unease to alarm and even a sense of betrayal. They can no longer pretend that he represents merely a change of emphasis in papal teaching. Assessing the confusion sown by this pontificate, Lost Shepherd explains what’s at stake, what’s not at stake, and how loyal believers should respond.

Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock Hardcover – February 12, 2018

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Religion Is Not the Enemy

A remarkable agnostic, Marcello Pera, explains why.

By Philip F. Lawler

Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies
By Marcello Pera
(Encounter Books, 224 pages, $23.95)

You were taught that pious platitude that you can't judge a book by its cover. But the truth is that usually you can. This one, for instance, looked easy. You read the title: Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians. You saw that the preface is written by Pope Benedict XVI. You could already guess what you would find on the inside pages. And you would be wrong.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Shameful Betrayal of a Courageous Pastor

From Catholic Culture
By Philip F. Lawler

St. Mary's church in Greenville, South Carolina, is a model Catholic parish, with an outstanding young pastor. The liturgy is beautiful and reverent; the religious instruction is meticulous and orthodox; the lay people are numerous and active. There is a busy school (run by the Nashville Dominicans), and each year there are dozens of adults welcomed into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.

But that's not why you've heard so much about St. Mary's in the past two weeks. In fact, the success of the parish is not why I'm
writing about it today.

St. Mary's has suddenly become the focus of nationwide attention because of what the pastor said-- or rather, what the media said he had said-- about people who had voted for Barack Obama.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Monday, July 21, 2008

Banned at the Basilica of the National Shrine

As I have mentioned on these pages here, here, and here, The Faithful Departed, by Philip F. Lawler is the most important book on the Church's sex abuse scandal. Anyone interested in understanding the roots of one of the worst scandals in the Church's history needs to read Lawler's book -- which may be precisely why the U. S. bishops don't want anyone to read it. The following is excerpted from a story by Christopher Manion in the June 26, 2008 issue of The Wanderer.
'Phil Lawler, author of The Faithful Departed, the excellent book chronicling the decline and fall of the Church in Boston ... is getting the censorship treatment from, of all places, the bookstore of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. There, Lawler's book has been selling so well that the bookstore scheduled a book- signing event on June 26. Once the announcements went up, however, higher-ups demanded that the book be removed from the shelves. Lawler was notified that his book signing was cancelled, no reason given.

'What could the bishops object to in Mr. Lawler's book? Perhaps these observations in his final chapter:

'Only a small minority of American priests — 2–3 percent, by most calculations — were ever accused of sexual abuse, whereas the vast majority of bishops were involved in the cover-up efforts. . . . With the [2002 Dallas] Charter in place, the bishops could and did answer all questions by saying that they were following the policies set by the USCCB. The Dallas norms were designed not so much to deter abuse of children as to deflect criticism from bishops. . . . The arrogance of the USCCB in presuming to instruct students about sexual abuse was breathtaking. For years, trusting parents had sent their children into Catholic parishes and schools, confidently assuming the church leaders would protect them. Now the same church leaders who had betrayed the trust presumed to instruct the parents and the innocent children about the dangers that children might face. Rather than ensuring the innocence of young students, these programs were designed to put the burdens of reporting on the children. . . .' (pp. 191- 193)

'Perhaps the ban was occasioned by the book's treatment of Cardinal Law's departure from Boston. But Mr. Lawler once worked closely with Cardinal Law for two years as editor of the archdiocesan newspaper. Lawler is a gentleman, and his treatment of the cardinal is almost serene. But some bishops still have ruffled feathers.... Whatever his reasons for banning Lawler's book, Msgr. Rossi, the rector of the Shrine — who works for the bishops, and not for the laity — will not explain them. The good monsignor obviously doesn't want to take any chances — or any calls from the Wanderer, either: we left several messages with his secretary, but have yet to hear from him....'
When Governor Frank Keating submitted his resignation as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board, examining sex abuse by Catholic priests, he compared the American hierarchy to the Mafia, saying: "To resist Grand Jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church."

I think Governor Keating's remarks were overly harsh and unfair -- to the Mafia!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Faithful Departed - Great New Book and Blog

Philip F. Lawler, Editor of Catholic World News and one of America's most dedicated and thoughtful Catholic laymen, has written a superb new book, The Faithful Departed. It is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the roots of the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Lawler's book is available through Amazon (see Amazon widget to right) and has spawned a new blog for those who would like to know more about this important book and discuss its theme. I highly recommend the book and the blog.

Friday, February 1, 2008


The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.
St. John Chrysostom

Father Richard Neuhaus of First Things has written a superb online review of Philip F. Lawler's new book, The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture.

In his review entitled Paved with the Skulls of Bishops, Neuhaus states that "The Faithful Departed is the best book-length treatment of the sex abuse crisis, its origins and larger implications, published to date."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sneak Preview of The Faithful Departed

Philip F. Lawler's latest book, The Faithful Departed, promises to be a great and thoughtful analysis of the root cause of the Church's sex abuse scandal, and the collapse of Catholic life and influence in Boston, once one of America's most Catholic cities. His insights and analysis cast light on the corruption and decline of the Church throughout America.

Calling the book "stunning," former
Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating writes:

"Lawler tells the story of the Church's role in advancing a culture of morality and excellence within the 19th-century immigrant community. But all of that good crashes into a mid-20th century wall of indifference, amorality, and hostility to orthodoxy and 'the power of Faith.'

The same story holds true throughout much of the country. Depressing repetition meets depressing repetition.

Lawler places the blame squarely on the laps of the shepherds, the bishops who were more interested in their public image and meeting the mortgage payments, than the safety of souls. His is a powerful story of a dismal period in the life of the Church."
You will want to read the whole book when it is formally released next month -- February 2008 -- by Encounter Books. It is available now for pre-release orders on

In the meantime, the introductory chapter is available here.