THE DIARY OF A CATHOLIC BISHOP by Edward Carben

THE DIARY OF A CATHOLIC BISHOP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another priestly career examined within the context of major and minor issues which have troubled and are still involving American Catholics; unfortunately the author, a former seminary student, now an English professor, has so much to say on every one of them that it all seems to happen in a pulpit and the characters are sketchy and dim. The priest here is Father Peter Faber, and his diary records events from seminary days through pastoral assignments, finally a bishopric, until his early death from cancer. Faber's tightrope position between traditional dogma and hierarchy and liberal movements within the Church is interesting enough, and probably represents a respectably large sector, but Faber's targets -- materialism of priests, homosexuality (the treatment here is simply offensive) and the self-serving of the ""liberated"" clergy -- lose veracity because of the overly broad and sensational presentation. The story mainly concerns Faber's zigzag journey in and out of hot water because of. his determination to emulate Christ in a ""deliberate simplicity of outlook"" and ""preserve (man's)spiritual being."" The content of Carben's sermons is valid certainly -- too bad the paraclete is so didactic.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1974
Publisher: Crown