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64 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
For some reason, there is a belief shared by both conservatives and liberals, that the Roman Catholic Church is a reactionary institution, intent on squelching all dissent. John Paul II is represented as an extreme reactionary who advances Catholicism in its most traditional form.
Yet what isn't so well known, is that the Roman Catholic Church underwent a cataclysmic event in the 60s: the Second Vatican Council. Although initiated to update the church in the "modern world" it was taken over by the left. One of the leaders at Vatican was John Paul II. While no one denies that there have been dramatic changes since Vatican II, Woods and Ferrara argue that these changes were a direct result of the novelties introduced by Vatican II.
Woods and Ferrara outline the changes since then and show that many have little basis in pre-Vatican II teaching. As a few examples, John Paul II opposes the death penalty, doesn't know if there is anyone in hell, supports evolution, permits altar girls and women serving communion, supports the UN, and holds ecumenical confabs that welcome Voodoo priests. Some reactionary. As our authors point out, had anyone other than John Paul II does these things, he wouldn't be considered much of a conservative. Yet when John Paul does these things, the "neo-Catholics" feel obligated to support him.
Not only is John Paul II something of a progressive, but also what he permits is even more shocking. For example, John Paul named Walter Kasper a bishop and then a cardinal, even though Kasper doesn't even believe that Jesus performed the "nature miracles" of the Scripture, or raised anyone from the dead. [Kasper, JESUS THE CHRIST p. 90.] Even supposed champions of orthodoxy such as Cardinal O'Connor were leftists compared to pre-Vatican II Catholicism.
This book has a few flaws. It started out as a collection of articles and it could have been edited a bit better. Some of the language will strike non-Catholics as a little overblown. Nonetheless, it is one of the more eye-opening books that one could read.
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47 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
If I were rich, I'd buy a copy of this book for every neo-conservative Catholic priest, theologian, religious, and layperson in the world.
While liberal Catholics aren't even in the ballpark and wouldn't dream of letting dogma interfere with their libidos, neo-conservative Catholics truly do love the Church, but are so sadly ignorant about the nature and scope of papal infallibility, and the immutability of eternal truths. This book is their medicine. Every Catholic who's worthy of the name simply must come to terms with what this book presents and fight with all s/he has to "stand fast and hold the traditions" (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
If you come across a Catholic who just loves praying with Protestants, Jews and Muslims, give them a copy of Pope Pius XI's "Mortalium Animos" -- and this book. If you meet another Catholic who calls the Holy Father (John Paul II as of this writing) a "conservative," give them a copy of Pope St. Pius X's "Lamentibili Sane" -- and this book. If you hear (yet another) Catholic gush on about the wonders of Vatican II, give them a copy of Pope Gregory XVI's "Mirari Vos" -- and this book. A lot of what's coming from the Vatican and our local Bishops these days isn't Catholic, as this book shows clearly; the sooner we face up to it, the healthier the Church Militant will be.
Another good thing about reading this book is the emotional affirmation given to traditional Catholics who are sick, tired, and fed up with being referred to as "integrist," "schismatic," or -- I've seen this, folks -- "Protestant" (how one can be a traditional Catholic, believing every single dogma and doctrine held by the Saints, even Popes of 50 years ago, and be a "Protestant" is beyond me, but so it goes...). Drs. Wood and Ferrara give these sorts of accusations "the ole one-two" so soundly that the traditional Catholic actually feels vindicated, rather like having seen a bully get his comeuppance.
Get two copies -- one for your shelf and one to loan out to every Catholic you know. When you're done reading this one, and if you want a more thorough analysis of the post-conciliar errors, read "Iota Unum" by Romano Amerio.
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45 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Few books could be more important for concerned Catholics than this one. Woods and Ferrara present a fair and even handed critique of the abuses, novelties, and seemingly unwarranted changes to almost every aspect of Church life since Vatican II.

The Strength of this book is that it is well footnoted, and everything it purports can be verified in fact by both Church and Secular News.

Woods and Ferrera hit the nail on the head when they begin and center the attack on Post Vatican II reforms on Ecumenism. Just about every misinterpretation of Vatican II, and ambiguity in the council itself has its center in Ecumenism. The authors then continue a relentless and well thought out critique of Vatican positions and non-actions since the close of Vatican II, and help show how Neo-conservatives are doing more to undermine Catholicism by feeling as though the Pope must have the benefit of the doubt when he is doing things that are scandalous and tell other bishops their actions are okay because the Pope does them too. Like the interfaith gatherings at Assisi, the authors treat this very well. If in fact it was just a gathering to pray to God Himself for peace, why in the world did the Pagans there need to go to different places to worship? Its because they were worshiping their false gods, at the Pope's behest! If that's not scandalous, the word has taken on a new term.

Ferrera and Woods also deliver a strong critique of the best Neo-Conservative books and arguments defending the Novus Ordo and the status quo concerning Vatican II.

The only draw backs are that Ferrera and Woods attempt to defend the Society of Pius X by exposing contradictions within the Papal Curia on the subject of whether they are in schism or not. Sadly they miss in their critique that Vatican I declares that the Pope has SUPREME AND ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY in the Church, and he did in fact say in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta that there was a schism. The Pope is the author of Canon Law, he can change it or modify it at need, because Vatican I gives him that authority. Every canonist, bishop and Cardinal in the world could disagree with the Pope, but that is irrelevant. If he says there is a schism there is a schism whether we like it or not, whether the Pope is a saint, wise, a scoundrel or a fool. That is the power of the keys.

The other drawback to the book is that Woods and Ferrara coin a term that is somewhat misleading to define Neo-conservatives (mainstream Catholic conservatives who bear the butt of thier critique): Neo Catholic. The term itself suggest they are worshiping in a different Church, and believe a different set of doctrines than what Catholics have believed. This is not true with many of them, and in my opinion unfair. Perhaps however it is born out of frustration over the consistent demonization of Traditionalists by Neo-Conservatives.

Apart from these two points, this book is accurate, and a well placed challenge that I am yet to see any one in the Neo-Conservative camp refute with anything other than the same rhetoric used in that self-contradicting book "The Pope, the Council, and the Mass" whose errors and self-contradictions are exposed by Woods and Ferrara.

Perhaps the most important thing is that the criticisms of John Paul II are all criticisms of his personal actions and opinions, not dissent from any doctrines that the Pope has authoritatively declared. The criticisms of the Pope are done out of a spirit of love, not mean spiritedness. Nowhere do the authoris attack the motives, intentions or the soul of John Paul II, and they stay the line of Catholicism and do not stray into Sedevacantism (the belief that all Pope's after Pius XII have apostasized and are really anti-Pope's, and the Church has had no reap Pope since 1958). No self respecting Catholic who loves his Church can afford to miss this.
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book very useful in helping me understand Catholic Traditionalism, the reasons for it, and the arguments in its favour. Mr Ferrara and Dr Woods write in a very clear and convincing style, which can be greatly refreshing to those of us who are used to muddling our way through the confused and impenetrable writings issued by the Catholic Church since Vatican II. Unlike other books on the subject, Ferrara and Woods avoid the temptation to focus solely on one area of post-conciliar controversy (e.g., the Mass, religious liberty), instead they skilfully navigate the reader through the many foundational issues raised by traditionalists, and this with the help of the limp arguments raised by what they describe as 'Neo-Catholics'. Not being an American I was quite unfamiliar with Neo-Catholicism beforehand, but Ferrara and Woods give a very informative outline of the movement before going on to demonstrate just how contradictory and error-riddled it is. I found their analysis both brilliant and devastating, and it even includes great flashes of humour, many of which had me literally laughing out loud!
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone seeking a good general treatment of Catholic Traditionalism and the arguments in its favour. Because of its comprehensiveness and assessable style I believe the book would be very useful for those seeking a good thorough introduction to the whole Catholic Traditionalist movement.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The folks in the traditionalist movement like Chris Ferarra,Michael Davies,the Remnant,etc.simply make a better case for their position than the people who disagree with them.Period.As time goes on the stereotype of the wacko traditionalist keeps fading more and more.You can debate all you want about how to "interpret Vatican II in light of tradition."The fact of the matter is that the reforms of the Church have been a disaster.Even our current pope who was a liberal back in the 1960s seems to have become much more traditional minded in recent years.In fact lately he seems to have more in common with Archbishop Lefebvre than people would like to admit.This book is a good read.It's not perfect.The Wanderer,EWTN,and a lot of the other "neo-Catholics" are better Catholics than the author likes to give them credit for.But the basic message of the book is sound.Overall I do reccomend it.

Frank Cook Feeding Hills MA
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Fantastic book written by thoroughly knowledgable authors.

All of their arguments are backed up solidly by evidence and quotes. This book is a great work of apologetics for traditional (read true) Catholicism. It hits neo-catholicism and all its errors squarely between the eyes.

A great read for anyone who dared to question the wisdom of some of the prudential decisions made by post-Vatican II pontiffs (although thanks be to God, Benedict seems to waking up to the damage this post-concilliar nonsense has caused) and other clergy. The Church needs to wake up to who it is and drop the historical ammnesia that somehow anything before Vatican II was somehow "too much" or "outdated".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
One might think that one of the Beatitudes was: "Blessed are the spinmiesters", for those who wish to justify the current state of the Church must make up endless excuses which have no correlation to the truth. Like political spin. Like ideology. This book punctures some of these rationalizations.

The Church does not claim to be perfect regarding prudentially: and to defend the Church as though this was a teaching is not to honor God. Mistakes were made: avoidable mistakes. Unnecessary mistakes. The scandal comes to mind. And we are not put here to explain those mistakes away.

The Church is a monarchy: and there is no fleeing from responsibility.
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25 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
An excellent book, and one worth reading for two important reasons: not only does it comprehensively and lucidly address many of the contemporary problems of the Church (to the benefit of Catholics who are already familiar with these issues), but it also serves as an excellent guide for Catholics who are unaware of or unclear about these problems. I live in Canada, which has many more Roman Catholics per capita than the United States. In this sense, the need for this book north of the 49th parallel is even more urgent. I commend Christopher Ferrara and Thomas Woods for their work, and I thank God that I live in an archdiocese which provides the Tridentine mass!
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you still fight the truths in "The Great Facade" then take your weak criticism and simple intellect, find a quiet place to sit and read Iota Unum. There, if you can comprehend true theological discussion, you will find that "The Great Facade" is indeed right on the mark about the "Regime of Novelty" that we, in the Roman Catholic Church, have endured for over 40 years.
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36 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are a Conservative Catholic who has just witnessed another clown Mass, or had to put up with a "homily" from Sr. Snakebite, or if you are sick of seeing laypersons handling the True Presence with their grubby hands, here is my advise: buy this book, and try a traditional Roman Rite Mass (Tridentine). Try to go to an FSSP Mass, but you can go to an SPX also. Do some research on the web and you will see that you can attend an SPX Mass and fulfill your Sunday obligation - it is not a sin to attend. As for the bad review from the neo-Catholic, please consider this statement which the Church has decreed heretical: "17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. (Condemned in the Syllabus of Errors)". Does JPII still condemn this? If not, then he is in error.
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