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Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth
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Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In Catholic Matters, Father Neuhaus addresses the many controversies that have marked recent decades of American Catholicism. Looking beyond these troubles to “the splendor of truth” that constitutes the Church, he proposes a forward-thinking way of being Catholic in America. Drawing on his personal encounters with the late John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now P ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Basic Books (first published 2006)
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Sep 25, 2012 Sara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I found this book a slow read; and I think it is best read that way too. Of the few reviews I've scanned over here on goodreads, I noticed some people disliked it because it 'deters people from the Catholic faith'. I must disagree with that.

Catholic Matters is not a book for someone who is looking for more information on joining the Catholic faith; nor is it for Catholics who do not fully pratice their faith. Rich in detail and facts, Catholic Matters has three distinct parts: A brief introducti
Bojan Tunguz
I am a regular reader of the magazine "First Things" of which Fr. Neuhaus is editor in chief, so I've been looking forward to reading this book, and by and large, I've been more than satisfied with it. Fr. Neuhaus is a great master of the English language and the book is written in the same flowing and articulate style that we've come to expect from him. Many of the themes from his writings for the "First Things" have been repeated in this book, often substantially elaborated upon and expanded. ...more
This is the first work I have tackled by Neuhaus. I found myself often wanting to stop and write down different excerpts because of their precision regarding the world Catholics inhabit here in the USA. I enjoyed his framing the entire work with the funeral of St. John Paul II, finishing with the election of Benedict XV. I strongly recommend this work for those who wish to look once again with a keener look at common misconceptions of the Church in our country.
Laarni Omingo
This is a spiritually uplifting, yet very intelligently written and intellectually enriching book. It succinctly discussed the importance of the faith and why being a Catholic is an every day life existence. Appropriate reading for the Lenten Season, together with the Bible.
Oh, no he didn't. I was dismayed to read this book, because it gives people that are hesitant to appreciate Catholicism about ten billion reasons to dislike it even more. He thinks Catholic faith is wavering because we long for tradition, like mass in Latin and says that if we want women to be ordained we might as well just become Episcopalian. Which totally misses the point. Every point. All the points. It is way more complicated than that. You wish, Father Neuhaus. This book took every aspect ...more
A great book about Catholicism written by a Lutheran Pastor who converted to the big C. My favorite line in the whole book, when considering making the step from Lutheranism to Catholicism, asks how one could leave the rich music of the Lutherans for the sometimes banal Catholic hymns:

Neuhaus writes, "When over lunch I told my editor friend Norman Podhoretz, with whom I share musical passions, that I was becoming a Catholic, there was at first a long pause. Then, with a deeply baffled expression
Adam Shields
Short review: This is a very different book than previous books in my Catholic Theology project. It is written primarily to Catholics and so is more of an inside look. I am pretty sure I missed some of the nuance because I am not Catholic and Neuhaus is a fan of Latin phrases. But on the whole this was a very good book. Discussions of his conversion, the magisterium, the role of the church in the world, disagreement in the church and more gave me a lot of insight into his thought.

My full review
Richard Jones
Love your Mother, warts and all. She is who she is. To whom else should we turn? (Waiting for a blast on that one).
Neuhaus is the editor of First Things, which is hands down one of the best magazines being printed in America. It's smart, thoughtful, and varied- as is this book. It's a bit slapped together, a hodge podge of things- his spiritual autobiography of his path from Lutheran school child to catholic priest- then a run down on the culture wars as they were and are being fought withing the catholic theology community- and finally his diary of the funeral for JPII and the election of Benedict.

I did not deem this book worth continuing reading.
Update: I don't easily put books aside so did take it up again and complete. I find his logic flawed and his arguments circular - even the author himself admits to many circular arguments. He appears to be the sort of man who "impresses his friends and bores the others". If I was basing my "to be or not to be Catholic" decision solely on his writing, he's convinced me away from Catholicism.
Richard John Neuhaus gives his perspective on Catholicism as a Lutheran pastor convert turned Catholic insider. He's got a unique and enlightening perspective. I think all Protestants need to read Catholics from their perspective, not from an anti-Catholic perspective. You don't have to agree with everything, but you can at least see where they are coming from.

Linda Couri
Neuhaus writes beautifully which makes this book a is also very challenging in that he is a very conservative Catholic, but this particular challenge is at the core of who I am
I found the message uplifting. I wish he would have dealt with the infiltration of Masons and Communists (Bella Dodd's testimony) into the priesthood.
A wonderful clarification on what Vatican II documents really said... rather than what so-called "liberals" think they said based on wishful thinking.
Jim Noyes
very well written, the author is thoughtful, engaging, and interesting.
Isaiah Mary
I found this work well written and clear.
Clearly reasoned and compellingly readable.
Neuhaus was a real treasure.
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Richard John Neuhaus was a prominent Christian cleric (first as a Lutheran pastor and later as a Roman Catholic priest) and writer. Born in Canada, Neuhaus moved to the United States where he became a naturalized United States citizen. He was the founder and editor of the monthly journal First Things and the author of several books, including The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in Amer ...more
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