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Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church Paperback – December 15, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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David Ranan has produced a splendid polemic, passionate and detailed, against the Roman Catholic Church and all its ways. He rails, not at the teachings of Christ and the religion to which he gave rise, but against the Church as a political institution.

In the first comprehensive account to have appeared, Double Cross traces the story of Catholic leaders' long engagement with temporal authority. It ranges from the conversion of Constantine and the Holy Roman Emperor's prostration before Pope Gregory at Canossa to the Church's global role today. Whether it be the record of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages or the contemporary scandal of paedophile priests... A good, if sometimes agonising, read. -- Anthony Everitt, Bestelling Author, April 2007

Forget the "Da Vinci Code": this is the book that tells the bombshell truth about the Catholic Church.

... a new book that is a real firecracker - Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church by David Ranan.

If the Vatican was afraid of the effects of the Da Vinci Code on its corrupt empire, wait until it sees this!

Dr David Ranan is a political scientist whose main area of interest is the study of power structures. His academic objectivity adds even more weight to this jaw-dropping exposé of the Vatican's age-old web of deceit, corruption and murder.

Four hundred and twenty-six dynamite pages of truth-telling that will have Josef Ratzinger squirming on his golden throne.

This really is a book not to miss. -- The National Secular Society Newsline, March 2007

Ranan is surprisingly even-handed and low-key in reporting on a history of unbelievable abuse of power, corruption and hypocrisy ... In almost every case he calmly presents the facts and explains that the various abuses seem to come from organizational imperatives and maintenance concerns rather than from flaws in doctrine. ...Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church certainly challenged my affection and nostalgia for the religion of my youth. It was much more readable and compelling than I'd expected. It's well written and it is pretty convincing. -- White Crane

Speaking of how other people may see us, I have been reading a fascinating, if somewhat uncomfortable book called Double Cross by David Ranan (Theo Press). When I tell you that it devotes 350 pages to attacking the Church ... you will understand why I would not recommend it to anyone who is not familiar with Church history and the general cut and thrust of apologetic debate. ... whenever I was able to check references they proved satisfactory. Withal, I found the book salutary. It reminds me how the credibility of the Church has so often been endangered not only by bad individuals but by bad trends. -- Catholic Herald, November 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Theo Press (December 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955413303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955413308
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,095,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Not to be a kill-joy on the 5 star ratings - I give this a 2-star solely because of the way the material is organized, supported and presented. The supportive documentation section of the book is unorganized and there needs to be documented references to support allegations:

1) Notes and bibliography are not separated. This is tacky because it makes checking references very difficult for the reader. See From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time for probably the best example I've ever seen to deal with footnotes vs end-notes with associated bibliography.

2) The need to separate fact from fiction is imperative. It is not helpful to the reader to have a supposed fact tossed out without supporting documentation. Take for example, the allegation that use of anesthetics in childbirth was opposed by the Catholic church because the Bible said women were destined to suffer pain because of their original sin (eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, not that Adam would have had the guts to go there...). It took me a long time to track down data that suggests this was accurate in certain situations and not ubiquitous or a policy of the Corporate Church.

In summary, my personal opinion is that this could have been a good reference book if the author paid more attention to detail and had not let his emotions interfere with the points he wished to make. Being an atheist of perhaps the "new" variety, my moral values require me to be fair. Perhaps this is because of some kind of attraction to a "Golden Rule" that reflects an evolutionary past, as opposed to a Iron-age myth about a magic sky-fairy that breathed on dirt.
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I red this book 5 or more years ago and found it an excellent review of history that has been blurred and hidden by a secretive Catholic Leadership. He is incisive in his history of what has actually occurred in the RCC. We need much more of this critical thought put together with documented facts to see where we are going. I am Catholic and, while some of the facts found here are shocking, others are helpful for us to understand the need to change the authoritarian clericalism in the RCC.
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Format: Paperback
This review appeared in White Crane Journal #75, Winter 2007-08

On a flight to Easton Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York for a gathering of “leaders” in gay spirituality, I read David Ranan’s scathing report on the history and organizational structure of the Catholic Church in regard to power and politics. As disturbing as the book was, it was interesting reading and held my attention even through all the distractions of air travel.

Ranan is surprisingly evenhanded and low-key in reporting on a history of unbelievable abuse of power, corruption and hypocrisy (especially regarding sexual ethics). In almost every case he calmly presents the facts and explains that the various abuses seem to come from organizational imperatives and maintenance concerns rather than from flaws in doctrine. At times you wonder how he can keep cataloguing all these apparent crimes against humanity without ever quite calling for the abolition of the institution and the damnation of all its layers of minions.

The book begins with an explanation of the structure of the Church and particularly the Vatican authority. He explains the origins of the church, the notion of miracles as evidence for authority, and the place of sin—and the sacramental power to forgive sin—as a tool of social control. The next chapters report on the Inquisition, the Index of Forbidden Books and, specifically, the case against Galileo in the 17th C. at the beginning of the development of scientific method and observation as the source of truth (rather than religious authority or revelation).
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Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church by David Ranan lays out the modus operandi of the Church covering its structure and power base; truth and policing of free thought; corruptions; history of anti-Semitism; the holy violence; the holocaust; post holocaust behavior; centuries of abuse, deceit, sex scandals within the organization; meddling in International affairs; maintaining a list of forbidden books from 1559 until 1966; and hatred towards women and sex. The repression of women and a kind of anti-sexual pessimism reached it highest peak under John Paul II, see Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church by Uta Ranke-Heineman and Peter Heinegg), ibid. David Ranan has made an excellent attempt at providing useful information from numerous references, footnotes and extensive notes to each chapter.

The rhythm of the book with lively descriptions of intrigues crafted should make any unbiased reader to wonder about the mind set of its religious founders. It appears that deception, miraculous claims and intense faith forcefully drives minds of most believers. The mind set of designers appears to have become trapped in the darkness of antiquity which created their outrageous fables. A balanced mind takes into account advancement in science (physics, biology, chemistry, geology, cosmology, evolution and technology). It becomes a mind shattering logic to come with a sensible understanding of the Catholic clergy. For the common man not having opportunities even today to become enlightened with knowledge, it becomes a formidable task to clear the cobwebs of antiquity generated by centuries of twisted views and cemented on a non democratic pyramidal corporate structure centered in the Vatican quarters in Rome to broadcast from there.
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