The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul

The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul


, goodreads-winners, Religion, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Politics, History

"Courageous and inspiring."--Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God

"James Carroll takes us to the heart of one of the great crises of our times."--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve

An eloquent memoir by a former priest and National Book Award-winning writer who traces the roots of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal back to the power structure of the Church itself, as he explores his own crisis of faith and journey to renewal

James Carroll weaves together the story of his quest to understand his personal beliefs and his relationship to the Catholic Church with the history of the Church itself. From his first awakening of faith as a boy to his gradual disillusionment as a Catholic, Carroll offers a razor-sharp examination both of himself and of how the Church became an institution that places power and dominance over people through an all-male clergy.

Carroll argues that a male-supremacist clericalism is both the root cause and the ongoing enabler of the sexual abuse crisis. The power structure of clericalism poses an existential threat to the Church and compromises the ability of even a progressive pope like Pope Francis to advance change in an institution accountable only to itself. Carroll traces this dilemma back to the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, when Scripture, Jesus Christ, and His teachings were reinterpreted as the Church became an empire. In a deeply personal re-examination of self, Carroll grapples with his own feelings of being chosen, his experiences as a priest, and the moments of doubt that made him leave the priesthood and embark on a long personal journey toward renewal--including his tenure as an op-ed columnist at The Boston Globe writing about sexual abuse in the Church.

Ultimately, Carroll calls on the Church and all reform-minded Catholics to revive the culture from within by embracing anti-clerical, anti-misogynist resistance and staying grounded in the spirit of love that is the essential truth at the heart of Christian belief and Christian life.

Title:The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul
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    The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul Reviews

  • Greg

    Carroll has written what also could have been titled Me and My Journey with the Church, for it is a semi-autobiographical work of which its central theme is his changing understanding of, and relation...

  • Stuart Jennings

    This is a beautifully written story about the Catholic Church...and all of it's frailties...And the author, James Carroll has done this subject justice...If you ever want to get a seriously comprehens...

  • Mary Miller

    This was a comfort read since the author reinforced all my issues with the contemporary church. I bought this book since I will read it again and again when I combat my frustration with a church that ...

  • Linda Edmonds cerullo

    It's always been a mystery to me why people remain in a church when they have so many differences with the teachings and edicts handed down from "on high". James Carroll seems to compare his need to s...

  • Serge

    Autobiographical elements (particular the confessions about adolescent rebellion and the sadism of his early priests) frame this act of conscience/iconoclasm and offer insight into Carroll's jeremiad ...

  • Grandma Jake

    Male-supremacist clericalism. Carroll presents his readers with historical facts and his own searching. The Catholic Church has "lost its soul" and in order to regain it the pope, cardinals, and bisho...

  • SheAintGotNoShoes

    His feelings in general about Catholic clergy mirrors my own. I have very negative and soul crushing experiences with them as a child in school and later on in college....