Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Future of Catholicism

By Michael Coren
Saturday, 09 November 2013
Epiphanies aren’t supposed to occur in Chicago hotel rooms. Desert roads, foxholes, emergency wards, yes, but not Chicago hotel rooms. But it was in the Windy City that a different wind blew three years ago, in the form of a telephone call from a senior editor at Random House. I was on a publicity tour for my book Why Catholics Are Right. “Some news about your book,” explained the vehemently non-Catholic publisher, “We’ve had to reprint immediately, it’s on the best-seller list, and could you write another book on the same subject?”
Of course I agreed, but the epiphany was the realization that if a book about the Church is approachable and not too pompous, legions of people will be eager to read it. 50,000 so far with the last book, and I can only hope and pray – I’ve four hungry kids! – that the new one does as well.
The Future of Catholicism was commissioned specifically to respond to the hysteria that greeted the election of Pope Francis. The moment the conclave ended, numerous journalists approached me for interviews – desperately so, since there are so few Catholics in media in Canada. The questions repeated themselves with a dulling predictability: will the new pope change Church teaching on same-sex marriage; will he ordain women; will he allow abortion and birth control? After the fourth or fifth such interview I responded with, “Yes, and he’s going to become a Muslim too!”
A bit of advice: Don’t use satire or sarcasm on a journalist.
The premise of the new book is simple: to explain to Catholics and non-Catholics alike where the Church may and perhaps should change, and where it cannot and will not do so. After an introductory essay outlining absolute truth, permanent things, the deposit of faith, and fundamental beliefs and teachings, I devote the first full chapter to same-sex marriage. The reason, of course, is that this is so frequently the subject that is used to attack the Church.

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