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A prerequisite to read this book One should be a Catholic or at least should know about the Catholicism That is not exact qualification The reader should be aware of Catholicism before and after The Second Vatican Council.It is about As it is mentioned above it is a critical look into Catholicism before and after The Second Vatican Council, that brought many changes reformation revolutions The Second Vatican Council is specially remembered for the Liturgical Changes that were brought into ex A prerequisite to read this book One should be a Catholic or at least should know about the Catholicism That is not exact qualification The reader should be aware of Catholicism before and after The Second Vatican Council.It is about As it is mentioned above it is a critical look into Catholicism before and after The Second Vatican Council, that brought many changes reformation revolutions The Second Vatican Council is specially remembered for the Liturgical Changes that were brought into existence For example, the old Latin Mass was changed into Vernacular Mass Another important change was that people participated in the mass and the priest now faced the congregation in stead of facing the alter and showing his back to the community.The main words used in The Second Vatican Council were apertura Opening and aggiornamento Up to date They were the mantras under which the changes were effected This naturally brought lot of confusions among the simple folk who found it difficult to accept the changes in the Liturgy.This is the premise for this novel Using this premise Brian Moore questions aspects like faith, doubt, orthodoxy, doctrines, etc Apparently he says that everything is decided by some men There is nothing certain Everything is relative And to believe is to believe in changing concepts He writes Yesterday s orthodoxy is today s heresy Because a certain community not wanting to accept the Liturgical changes continues to celebrate Latin mass And it is accused of heresy.In another place he writes I think it would be a crime against the people s faith if we were forced to give up the old way The story, however, is not that engaging Usually Moore is known for writing engaging plots But this was relatively a slow paced one Besides, the enormous theme could not be treated in an intense way in such a short novella It is here Moore failed and that is why he deserves only three stars for this book.Catholicism and Moore This is the third book by Brian Moore that I read He claims himself to be lapsed Catholic But his novels are filled with Catholic ideas Of course, most of them set in a challenging manner He continuously questions the position of the Church in certain areas, or questions certain dogmas But he is always struggling with Catholic principles He has read well enough He has searched for the reasons These are very much visible in his writings.For instance, in this novel he presents a character that questions the new changes When he questions he also gives reasons for the old ways to consolidate his view.Regarding Latin Mass The Mass in Latin, the priest with his back turned to the congregation because both he and the congregation faced the altar where God was..And the Mass was said in Latin because Latin was the language of the church and the church was one and universal and a Catholic could go into any church in the world,the only Mass there was, the Latin Mass And if the Mass was in Latin and people did not speak in Latin, that was part of the mystery of it, for the Mass was not talking to your neighbor, it was talking to God I am here reminded of Evelyn Waugh, who found the liturgical changes brought in by The second Vatican Council very difficult to accept He echoed the same sentiments 10 years before Brian Moore as the Council was in progress Just an excerpt from Evelyn Waugh.About the use of vernacular for the Mass Certainly many cannot follow the Latin liturgy anythan an infant can understand the words which are spoken at his baptism The flow of Grace is not impeded by vocabulary So, Brian Moore was very well aware of the positions of those who stood against any change in liturgy and he was also aware that the liturgical change brought about a great difficulty for the simple folks who could not accept easily a long standing practice Brian Moore s own words in the novel Aggiornamento, was that when uncertainty had begun Changes of doctrine Setting oneself up as ultimate authority Finally An interesting book for a Catholic But the execution could have been better Catholics is a slim, smart book that turns on the dilemma posed by the mutually exclusive meanings of the word catholic, mostly indicated by the capitalization or lack thereof of the C Nowadays, Catholic capital C denotes a specific form of Christianity after the Reformation, Catholicism came to represent the traditional, orthodox ways of worship, such as the saying of the Latin Mass, and maintaining the doctrine of transubstantiation Catholics particularly Roman rejected the Protes Catholics is a slim, smart book that turns on the dilemma posed by the mutually exclusive meanings of the word catholic, mostly indicated by the capitalization or lack thereof of the C Nowadays, Catholic capital C denotes a specific form of Christianity after the Reformation, Catholicism came to represent the traditional, orthodox ways of worship, such as the saying of the Latin Mass, and maintaining the doctrine of transubstantiation Catholics particularly Roman rejected the Protestant Revolution and it s promise of auniversalizable read personal Christianity From the Protestant point of view, Catholicism is unduly exclusive therefore elitist and retrograde The great irony of this or paradox, if you prefer comes into view when we remember that the non capitalized catholic derives from the Greek kath olou, literally on the whole, which is used to denote the general, universality, commonness, entirety, etc In other words the Catholic Universal church cannot really be said to be catholic at all any, at least not in the non capital sense Instead it has turned into its opposite, applicable to only a few, rather than the many The philosophical crux of Catholics can by summed up in one sentence uttered by the Abbot of Muck, the head of a small island monastery off the coast of Ireland, whose inhabitants are in violation of the new Papal Catholic law requiring ecumenical uniformity they are in violation so long as they continue to say the Mass in Latin, and continue to hear private confessions The unexpected popularity of their Masses the last vestige of the old religion is viewed as a threat to the Ecumenical Council in Rome, who are in negotiations with Bangkok to secure the apertura, i.e the interpenetration between Christian and Buddhist faiths The Abbot of Muck muses Yesterday s orthodoxy is today s heresy I recently went into the chapel in a local hospital Designed, we suppose, to appeal to the transcendent religious spiritual sensibilities of everyone, without giving undo favor to any particular religion A few years ago, we might have expected some stained glass, a candle or two, perhaps some pews where one could both pray silently and alone, or whisper with a friend This one was decidedly zen A set of smooth stones with water trickling over them, no furniture Two chairs were set into I recently went into the chapel in a local hospital Designed, we suppose, to appeal to the transcendent religious spiritual sensibilities of everyone, without giving undo favor to any particular religion A few years ago, we might have expected some stained glass, a candle or two, perhaps some pews where one could both pray silently and alone, or whisper with a friend This one was decidedly zen A set of smooth stones with water trickling over them, no furniture Two chairs were set into the wall, which were as uncomfortable as the ones in Woody Allen s Sleeper How odd, I thought, that they should choose a godless religion I suppose if you want to make sure you do not endorse any particular dress code, the only style allowed would be to go naked No one would object We ve all be catechized by the movies if Batman or some other hero is to go spiritual it will be some solitary meditation on a mountain top Incarnational theology does not inspire.So the custodians of Catholicism in the near future, where this book is set, must have concluded Vatican IV has decided to merge with the Buddhists in order to conform with the times All prayers must be public and ecumenical, and worship is a time to celebrate community , not to encounter God Sounds kind of familiar, doesn t it One group of adherents has kept to the old ways a group of monks on a windy island off the coast of Ireland Fr Kinsella, in a hip bomber jacket the current fashion for priests is dispatched to bring them into conformity with the non conformity.As people have pointed out, this is a very slender book And it has a brisk pace, and does not shirk from looking into the controversy it has created Kinsella is not portrayed as a shill, nor are the priests on the island depicted as saints These are real questions, and an altogether likely future for those of us in this side of the pages Good intentions could easily lead to this ecumenical vapidity I would love a discussion on the ending, which arrives suddenly, and rather tosses the question out of the pages into our laps I am optimistic that the island fathers would not allow the gates of hell to prevail Or did they A very good read One in the books in the Loyola Classics Series I m not sure I really liked this book, but it s very intriguing Set on a remote island monastery Muck Abbey off the coast of Ireland in some future post Vatican IV timeperiod, Catholics presupposes a new Dark Age where it remains for these Irish monks to again save civilization , the premise of Thomas Cahill s, Catholics is a slim, simply written novel that raises good questions on faith, Catholic Christianity, obedience and all the things that are all the core tenets of the Catholic Church Set in the future, the Fourth Vatican Council has gotten rid of private confession, clerical attire, the Latin Mass and all the primaries that one would associate with a Catholic identity Yet, in the nether reaches off the Irish coast, there is a monastery Muck Abbey whose monks are not following the rules of law, Catholics is a slim, simply written novel that raises good questions on faith, Catholic Christianity, obedience and all the things that are all the core tenets of the Catholic Church Set in the future, the Fourth Vatican Council has gotten rid of private confession, clerical attire, the Latin Mass and all the primaries that one would associate with a Catholic identity Yet, in the nether reaches off the Irish coast, there is a monastery Muck Abbey whose monks are not following the rules of law, as laid down by the pope and the curia at the Vatican They are gentle rebels who are refusing to comply, because they believe in the traditional mysteries that have gone back aeons, laws and values laid down by God through Jesus Christ to His disciples The monks are innocent practitioners of the beautiful, old ways of mystery, and because they refuse to cut the cord of the truth, as they believe it to be, they become, inadvertently I believe thorns in the you know what of the Vatican oligarchy Because of that, they develop an international following, parishioners themselves who can t quite digest the lack of mystery, as established by the Fourth Vatican Council The new rules seem too politically correct, extolling the ideology of secularization and relativism The higher ups are becomingandattracted to intense ecumenicalism as well, wanting to merge Buddhism with Catholicism, in effect, erasing its roots, the Rock that Jesus Christ told Peter the church would be built upon For the nameless parishioners in this novel who are true readers of the Bible God s Word willed to humanity , the radical changes are too extreme to be accepted, and thus, disobedience is a logical and intellectual act to embark upon But because they are a flock God s children the Church has a role to see that they are not being led astray And according to the Vatican, because the monks at Muck Abbey are not heeding the rabid new changes, they are hence, leading the flock astray To rectify the issue, Fr James Kinsella is dispatched to the abbey to reeducate the lot of them Modern and free thinking, Fr Kinsella is the embodiment of the new Catholic, a man who sees the mystery of prayer and sin as superstitious nonsense he d probably make a good Devil s Advocate that is antiquated and best to be trounced upon when it is burgeoning Though he is not a mean spirited man in any way, to me, he is a condescending intellectual who is a careerist who wants to climb the church ladder to something better However, the best way to do that is to do the drudgery work that probably no one else wants to do With that, he ll get promoted On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is Tomas O Malley, the abbot of Muck Abbey he is gentle, fatherly, wizened and a man in a very difficult position And his actions will have a wider impact that are too big to fully understand, for if he complies with the church hierarchy, it will look as if he s abandoning the mystery and superstition of life and the things that happen within its confines for political religiosity If he defies the church, will he and his band of traditional monks be seen as martyrs to Catholic orthodoxy or minions of evil because they are not in tandem with a Church that God is passionate about In dealing with this, Fr O Malley is also coping with his own doubts and privations the religious passions are just not there He is a robot going through the motions of things, and something needs to be triggered within himself How appropriate that his name is Tomas, for he really comes off as the Doubting Thomas One can not put off the battle between the two warring factions as the ultimate test from God, and that is how it must be seen obedience is paramount, and for me that really is undigestible I would probably tell Fr Kinsella to go where the sun don t shine, but that is not a true manifestation of faith in this case, and that is why this book is so gloriously frustrating It begs you to ask the question, What would you do Christianity is hard It asks for commitment through thick and thin even if you don t agree It challenges you to the core of what you think you really are versus what you truly are I won t reveal the ending, but the truth is best spoken by Fr O Malley when he says, Prayer is the only miracle We pray If our words become prayer, God will come Page 132 Catholic or not, that is one truth that can never ever be altered What the what I read it too quickly, and on a plane, so I felt kind of like a fool when it finally slapped me upside the head that this was a futuristic dystopia Vatican IV Transubstantiation and private confession has gone by the wayside because it s too icky and ridiculous A stalwart of tradition bucking heads with the new world order The book is beautifully written in that spare, modern way that was so popular in the 70s It s what they call a slim volume, and like all modern literat What the what I read it too quickly, and on a plane, so I felt kind of like a fool when it finally slapped me upside the head that this was a futuristic dystopia Vatican IV Transubstantiation and private confession has gone by the wayside because it s too icky and ridiculous A stalwart of tradition bucking heads with the new world order The book is beautifully written in that spare, modern way that was so popular in the 70s It s what they call a slim volume, and like all modern literature, ends with a poignant hiccup that leaves you unfulfilled in that oh so fulfilling way I m a sucker for this, I admit blame my creative writing degree I confess in direct contravention of Vatican IV I picked this up because some kind soul in the Wall Street Journal told me to I might have to go through it again, because to be honest, I m not really sure who won in this battle of tradition versus enlightenment Maybe me .Download Ebook ♌ Catholics ♧ The story is told with superb grace and wit The New Yorker If reading it upsets you, do not be surprised Moore has eliminated our standard escapes from God a secularized Kingdom or a romanticized past America A neat and striking story Times Literary Supplement In the not too distant future, the Fourth Vatican Council has abolished private confession, clerical dress, and the Latin Mass, and opened discussions about a merger with Buddhism Authorities in Rome are embarrassed by publicity surrounding a group of monks who stubbornly celebrate the old Mass in their island abbey off the coast of Ireland The clever, assured Father James Kinsella is dispatched to set things right At Muck Abbey he meets Abbot Tom s, a man plagued by doubt who nevertheless leads his monks in the old ways In the hands of the masterly Brian Moore, their confrontation becomes a subtle, provocative parable of doubt and faithLoyola Classics are new editions of acclaimed Catholic novels This book angered me Much like with his novel Black Robe, Moore is supposedly writing a fair and balanced approach to Catholicism and its interaction with secular or in the case of Robe, native society What really comes through is his disdain for Catholicism and especially clerics church hierarchy It s clear that this writer is no friend to the Church, even though in both books he attempts to leave the crux of the stories ambiguous and let the reader determine what is being said Now, that This book angered me Much like with his novel Black Robe, Moore is supposedly writing a fair and balanced approach to Catholicism and its interaction with secular or in the case of Robe, native society What really comes through is his disdain for Catholicism and especially clerics church hierarchy It s clear that this writer is no friend to the Church, even though in both books he attempts to leave the crux of the stories ambiguous and let the reader determine what is being said Now, that isn t a reason to claim that a book isn t literature or have literary merits, but I felt that he had constructed a straw man the Church goes so off the rails as to combine forces with Buddhism, fall into moral relativism, and claim that the Eucharist is symbolic only in order to grind his axe Moore s feelings toward the Church are starkly revealed in his willingness to think the Church could fall into such apostasy It s an unrelentingly grim story that presents the ultimate demise of Christianity and with it the world Having said that it is a well written book and the characters situation were interesting in a speculative sort of way I haven t read a book this well written that s made me viscerally angry in a long time I give it three stars because of that However, I don t think I will ever read anyBrian Moore He believes there can be a future for Christianity, provided it gets rid of God Seven years after the close of Vatican II, Brian Moore published the novella Catholics Its story is set in the near future and concerns an abbey on a small island off Ireland s Atlantic coast where the monks have defied Vatican IV and continued, among other things, to conduct Latin Mass and private confessions An emissary from Rome is sent to deliver a letter of rebuke and insure compliance with the Church s newHe believes there can be a future for Christianity, provided it gets rid of God Seven years after the close of Vatican II, Brian Moore published the novella Catholics Its story is set in the near future and concerns an abbey on a small island off Ireland s Atlantic coast where the monks have defied Vatican IV and continued, among other things, to conduct Latin Mass and private confessions An emissary from Rome is sent to deliver a letter of rebuke and insure compliance with the Church s new standards, which seem to place all their value on ecumenicism, social justice, and progressive wagers on the future.Moore s storytelling here is deft and fluid Like the best novellas, Catholics keeps its focus tight and doesn t deviate into subplots Moore gets his religious idea across without heavy handedness, beginning with a sense of mystery and then delivering the ideas, like clues, a little at a time There is a single monologue of two pages, in the middle of the book, that summarizes the heart of the issue, and all other discussion ripples out from this I m not sure I can be objective in reviewing Catholics Rather than reading it for the first time, I was re reading a book I had loved when in college, some decades ago My introduction to the book was an exercise in a creative writing class, in which we manually copied a particularly beautiful passage, as a way of learning, word by word, how Moore created powerful images with a few carefully chosen words.I was concerned whether the book would live up to my memories of it, as I had not revisited I m not sure I can be objective in reviewing Catholics Rather than reading it for the first time, I was re reading a book I had loved when in college, some decades ago My introduction to the book was an exercise in a creative writing class, in which we manually copied a particularly beautiful passage, as a way of learning, word by word, how Moore created powerful images with a few carefully chosen words.I was concerned whether the book would live up to my memories of it, as I had not revisited it in at least 20 years I found, though, that I appreciated Moore s craftsmanshipthan ever I found myself constantly marveling at the power of his prose, at turns of phrase that expressed a great deal in a deceptively simple and yes, very Irish way.This is not a book for those looking for big plots and clear resolution It is largely a story of internal conflict, with a great deal of Catholic theology thrown in In fact, a little understanding of Vatican II is very helpful A quick glance at Wikipedia is enough, though I m sure a deeper understanding would bring even greater rewards Catholics is a book that rewards a slow, thoughtful reading, both to appreciate Moore s evocative prose, and to better understand what drives the various characters