A book by the man who exposed “the human face of the council”

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) — A Church in Search of Itself: Benedict XVI and the Battle for the Future is the title of the book written by the man who has embarked upon a mission as he says, to expose “the human face of the council.“ His lecture tour in India marking 50th anniversary of Vatican II Council kicks of in Kolkata (15th September, 2012) and is expected to travel among other cities to Darjeeling, Guwahati, Shillong and New Delhi till 5th October.

The Second Vatican Council initiated a revolution from which the Catholic Church is still reeling. This is the message that Robert Blair Kaiser, a former Jesuit who covered the most recent papal election for Newsweek, enunciates in this proficient book. Kaiser is author of five books on the post-conciliar Church.
Despite the popularity of John Paul II, opposition to many of his policies had hardened among Catholics by the time of his death in 2005.

The Church had become more doctrinaire, the voices of millions of dissenters ignored.

Award winning New York Times Vatican II reporter Kaiser examines the most important and divisive issues confronting the Church: the sex abuse scandal, a shortage of priests due to the insistence upon celibacy, the ban on contraception, the roles of women and gays in the Church, the failure to reach out sincerely to other faiths, the increased participation of laypeople in Church affairs.

Kaiser gives an in-depth and behind-the-scenes view of six of the cardinals who gathered in Rome in April 2005 to choose a new pope — Ratzinger from Germany, Mahony from the United States, Murphy-O’Connor from Britain, Rodríguez Maradiaga from Honduras, Arinze from Nigeria, and Darmaatmadja from Indonesia—and through them makes clear why Catholics worldwide are increasingly leaving the Church or defying Church doctrine. Finally, he explains why Ratzinger’s ascendance was assured, and what this might mean for the future.

With passion and heartfelt concern, 81 year old Kaiser brilliantly illuminates the issues and the combatants in the battle for the soul of the Catholic world.

Kaiser is not afraid to argue for change within the structures of the church, astutely noting that “because the Church was human, it was always in need of reform.”

“This timely, well-informed, and brilliantly written book shows that all the urgent reforms in the Catholic Church should start with reforming its very center: the Vatican.” —Hans Küng

Get Kaiser’s book home delivered in eight business days for just Rs.700 (cash on delivery) from http://www.flipkart.com/church-search-itself-030727814x/p/itmczyzhrh8fkcxu?pid=9780307278142
About the Author
Robert Blair Kaiser spent ten years in the Society of Jesus (but was not ordained) before turning to journalism. He worked for the Arizona RepublicThe New York Times, and CBS (for whom he covered Vatican II), and is the author of ten books including Clerical ErrorThe Politics of Sex and Religion, and Pope, Council, and World. He is the co-author of Jubilee 2000, a prize-winning musical comedy celebrating 2,000 years of Christianity, and the editor of an online journal of religion and culture, JustGoodCompany.com. He covered the recent papal conclave for NewsweekNewsday, and CBS.



Filed under Robert Blair Kaiser

3 responses to “A book by the man who exposed “the human face of the council”

  1. Gaston Roberge

    I find this comment on Mr. Kaiser’s book ‘brilliantly illuminating’ (to use Fr. Paul’s vocabulary) and I am sure many people will want to read the book and benefit from reading it.

  2. The salient points mentioned in this review are worth noting. “ the sex abuse scandal, a shortage of priests due to the insistence upon celibacy, the ban on contraception, the roles of women and gays in the Church, the failure to reach out sincerely to other faiths, the increased participation of laypeople in Church affairs.”
    Where is all this leading the Church to is the next question to be asked.I spent half an hour perusing through some articles on the internet and here is the casual finding of what is happening to the RC Church at large especially in Europe and America.
    Let’s begin with Germany, Pope Benedicts’ own home land-
    Here is a recent report from Berlin.
    BERLIN (RNS) The number of Germans leaving the Roman Catholic Church rose dramatically in 2010.
    About 180,000 Catholics officially ended their church affiliation in 2010, a rise of 50,000 (or 40 percent) from 2009, according to the weekly Die Zeit Newspaper.The data was collected from surveys answered by most of Germany’s major catholic dioceses.
    One out of every 10 Americans is an ex-Catholic. If they were a separate denomination, they would be the third-largest denomination in the United States, after Catholics and Baptists. One of three people who were raised Catholic no longer identifies as Catholic. (National Catholic Reporter June 2012)
    An illustration:
    According to a landmark study, as many as 600,000 Hispanics in this country leave the Catholic Church every year in favor of Protestant evangelical churches.
    Furthermore, of the approximately 30 percent of Hispanics nationwide who identify themselves as non-Catholic, the vast majority are affiliated with an evangelical or “born-again” church.

    IRELAND In Ireland the bastion of Catholic faith, which fought with the Protestants till recently, the story is not different
    As this recent report gives of a survey – June 5, 2012
    Catholics abandon Mass in their droves according to new opinion poll
    Church teachings also under threat in survey

    The Irish people have given up on the basic principles of Catholicism according to a new survey.
    The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll shows that the majority of Catholics in Ireland no longer attend Mass.
    The survey also says that significant numbers ‘do not believe’ in key elements of the church’s teachings.
    Fourthly here is what a Christian activist says:
    “I led many people out of the Catholic Church. My formula for getting Catholics to leave the Church usually consisted of this.
    Get Catholics to have a conversion experience in a Protestant setting. Most Fundamentalist, Evangelical, and charismatic Protestant churches have dynamic youth programs, vibrant Wednesday and Sunday evening services, and friendly small-group bible studies. In addition, they host special crusades, seminars and concerts. At the invitation of a Protestant friend, a Catholic may begin attending one or more of these events while still going to Sunday Mass at his local parish.
    Most Protestant services proclaim a simple gospel: repent from sin and follow Christ in faith. They stress the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus and the reward of eternal life. Most of the Catholics who attend these services are not accustomed to hearing such direct challenges to abandon sin and follow Christ. As a result, many Catholics experience a genuine conversion and abandon Catholic Church.
    A genuine conversion is one of life’s most precious experiences, comparable to marriage or the birth of a child. Conversion awakens a deep hunger for God. Effective Protestant ministries train workers to follow up on this spiritual longing.”

    INDIA. There does not seem to be clear statistics regarding the phenomenon mentioned above.
    At least some of the draw backs of western church are not present in Indian church. Still it will be worth making a study of those who have left RC for other folds in India. Also the people to ask and make a survey would be the younger generation..
    On the other hand the Church in India controls its faithful with many a WMC – weapons of mass control – which from the point of view of the laity Robert Blaire Keiser has highlighted in his Book.
    Unless paid heed to the Western phenomenon is bound to catch up with the East.

  3. For information on Kaiser’s Vatican II lecture tour, please go here:

    You can download Kaiser’s current eBooks here, and access them on any of
    ten “reader” formats (Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone etc. etc. — or just
    read them on your computer as .pdf files.

    “Desert Injustice.” A true crime thriller that challenges a murder
    verdict of 35 years ago in Phoenix, a full-speed ahead screen-scroller.

    Download here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/57507

    “Cardinal Mahony: A Novel.” LA Cardinal kidnapped by liberation
    theologians and put on trial for his crimes. Convicted and converted,
    he leads Catholics to a people’s Church.

    Download here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7027

    “Razzle Dazzle.” Headstrong Jessica Burns inherits NY Jets, and brings a
    revolutionary offense (with more fun and less violence) to the NFL.
    Reality fiction.

    Download here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/140288

    “The Politics of Sex and Religion.” How the people of God, not the
    pope, changed Church teaching on responsible parenthood. A narrative
    about the papal birth control commission of the 1960s, and its
    surprising aftermath, told by Time magazine’s man at Vatican II.

    Download it here for FREE: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/151118

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