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Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586172183
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,070,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Pavel Chichikov on May 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Russell Shaw is a long-time Catholic journalist of impeccable honesty and courage. His new book, *Nothing to Hide* reveals the hidden causes of the recent scandals in the Church, and prescribes the changes that need to be made so that the Church can heal. The remedies he prescribes may be painful to some, especially in the hierarchy, but they will be welcome to most Catholics outside the charmed, and sometimes not so charming, closed circle of insiders.

Shaw is that rare Catholic analyst of Church affairs - a loyalist without being an apologizer. As a bonus, he writes well and the text moves quickly and forcefully.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookfiend on August 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Having just read Russell Shaw's book I haven't had a good deal of time to mull over and digest the many interesting facts and insights within its pages.

The book clarifies how truth and openness work at the heart of unity within the Church and how openness ties directly into our communion as members of the body of the church. Mr. Shaw also makes many helpful observations regarding clericalism (an elitist culture among clerics that gives deference to clerics over the common layman) and it's corrosive affects on a vibrant living community of faithful Christians.

Here's an interesting quotation:

"[T]he Church is a communion, not a political democracy; therefore openness and accountability are even more important in the Church than they are in a democracy." I've drawn this quotation from page 9 of the introduction.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the life and history of our church. The book addresses the misuse of secrecy by bishops and priests and the corrosive affect that secrecy has on the life and spirit of the Church. It does much to provide practical, well reasoned steps to help the Church function in our society and to embrace the implications for our Church to fully be of the Church of Christ.

Mr. Shaw's writing style accommodates the reader and carries him through the material easily. He quotes from many of the essential documents of Vatican II and of later years regarding communication within the church and from the church to the world.

The book could, and I would suggest ought, to be used as a primer for the formation of those lay people who wish to participate in parish and diocesan councils. The text provides much substantial information from essential encyclicals and Vatican II documents. In this way the book does a great deal to inform and educated interested members of the faithful, and offers further areas of study as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
A wise priest once remarked that a welcome consequence of the Catholic doctrine concerning the Church's infalibility is that, in letting us know how and when the Church is infallible, it also informs us regarding the times and circumstances it is not. In governance and in prudential decisions, the Church's leadership, even at the highest level, can be off track. This is perhaps most evident in the heirarchy's (the author looks only at that in the U.S.) proven fondness for secrecy concerning matters it sees as likely to create scandal, as well as in other areas.

Too often criticism of the hierarchy has come either from people on the "left" of the Church, whose doctrinal orthodoxy sometimes seems questionable, or from others on the "right" who appear eager to get angry over just about anything. It is a welcome relief to read a balanced, charitable, but also unsparingly honest critique from someone who is clearly faithful to the Church and her teaching.

I read this book in one sitting and recommend it to all who are concerned about the Church in North America.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Bambino on May 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book deals with the question of secrecy in the Catholic Church; that is, what kinds of things should be made known to the public, how much access should reporters have at Bishop's Conferences, when is it appropriate for Bishops to hold meetings behind closed doors etc. The problem with this book, as I see it, is that an answer to this question is a matter of prudence and not of objective moral law; that is, it seems to me that different people of good faith can have differening opinions about these questions and still be Catholics in good standing. The reason I think this is a problem is that for me, a question like this (one which may not have an absolute moral answer) must be argued VERY well and VERY persuasively in order for me to find it compelling. While the author is very competent and is able to make his case well, I simply was not persuaded by it. That certainly doesn't mean that I disagree with him; just that I don't think he was able to make a strong case for his position.

The author argues for a Church with far less secrecy than there has been. Part of his arguments involves looking at documents put out by the Catholic Church. Many times the author would quote a pertinent passage and then claim that it provided evidence for his point, but more often than not, I did not see his position being put forth in the quote. However, the author is quite competent as far as journalists go (I'm sorry, I realize I have an anti-journalist bias; I'm working on it). He is well aware of many pertinent sources and cites them (the lack of citation annoys me to no end in popular journalism). Thus the book acts as an excellent resource.

The book is well written,but ultimately, I did not find the case too convincing.
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