THE CATHOLIC LEFT: The Crisis of Radicalism Within the Church by James Colaianni

THE CATHOLIC LEFT: The Crisis of Radicalism Within the Church

Email this review


That the cause of the ""Catholic left"" is not necessarily that of radicalism is one distinction, among others, that escapes Mr. Colaianni (of Ramparts magazine) in this book. Another such is the enormous difference between glib journalism and the art of meticulously piecing together the accomplishments of research, which is the sine qua non of a serious--i.e., of a worthwhile--book on anything as ill defined as a ""left"" or a ""radicalism"" within the Church. But perhaps the reader is caviling over a mere title and not over the reality which is this collection of bits and pieces snipped from various news-stories which illustrate the existence of a ""radical"" element within the Church by recording the words and deeds of dissenters, from the self-immolation of an ex-seminarian ""in the cause of non-violence"" to the rumblings of theological upheaval which emanate, from time to time, from the lips of angry young theologians. The clumsy narrative passages with which the author attempts to stitch together the events which he records into a recognizable pattern serve little purpose except to remove this volume from the formal category of a ""collection."" All in all, a poorly organized and haphazardly conceived scrapbook of the phenomena of religious dissent, all deja vu in the pages of journals religious and secular.

Pub Date: July 17th, 1968
Publisher: Chilton