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Papal Bull: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Dr. Joe Wenke, disciple of such brilliant and provocative social critics as Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher and George Carlin, has taken on the Catholic Church with PAPAL BULL: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church. Wenke bares the scars of his Catholic childhood and exposes the bizarre, absurd and downright frightening skeletons lingering in the Vatican closet.

Paperback, Digital Edition, 272 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by TransUber LLC
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3.45  · 
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 ·  78 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Joseph Spuckler
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Papal Bull: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church by Dr. Joe Wenke is shows a side of the Catholic Church that few know about. Wenke is the oldest of eleven children from a strict Catholic family from Philadelphia. He received his BA in English from Notre Dame, a MA in English from Penn State, and his PhD in English from the University of Connecticut. Wenke previous book is You Have to Be Kidding: The Cultural Arsonist's Satirical Reading of the Bible.

A word of warning: This book is not f
Diane S ☔
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I love the cover and i love the term "recovering Catholic" of which I believe I am one. I think any one who went to Catholic School in the fifties and sixties, no matter what state, probably had many of the same experiences that the author describes from his school years. I went to Catholic school in the middle sixties and I so agree with the author's contention that they instilled fear and guilt. There are probably many out there who had positive experiences, but than they probably would not be ...more
Schuyler Wallace
Oct 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
I recently reviewed YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING by Dr. Joe Wenke and this book rates about the same. DR. Wenke is definitely acquainted with the Bible and the Catholic religion. The ability to condense an immense amount of material into understandable form is laudable. He is irreverent and funny. But my question remains: What’s the purpose?

No doubt there are readers who appreciate sacrilegious humor. I’m not one of them. To be sure there are many aspects of any religion that can provoke humor. Dr. Wen
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Facts and Hyperbole

This book appears intended to be first for entertainment, and any educational or informative intent is secondary. What Joe Wenke does is cite facts about the Catholic church and her history, and then interprets it using satirical and comedic hyperbole. From a logical argumentative perspective, there is quite a bit of straw-manning and cherry-picking going on.

These would not be too much of an issue for a reader already educated in better historical basis. Yes, Mr. Wenke presen
April (The Steadfast Reader)
My problem with this book is not that I find the content offensive, it's how poorly it's executed. The author speaks about how he wrote this book over a short period of time, almost as if in a trance, and henceforth published without changing hardly a word. Well, maybe some editing would have made for a better book.

The author is obviously smart and quirky and has a lot of anger towards the Catholic Church - a lot of anger that I believe i justified. Unfortunately it's executed like a 200 page Bu
Christoph Fischer
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Papal Bull: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church" by Joe Wenke is an incredibly clever and humorous take on the Catholic Church. Personally scared by the worst effects that literal readers of the Bible and dogmatic Catholics had on his upbringing Wenke brings a lot of anger to the table but fortunately diffuses it with his poignant and sharp observations on the absurdities that emerge when you look at the bible and some of its teachings with a magnifying class and common sense.
I was bro
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
A Former Catholic on the Problems of the Catholic Church

While some people may find this book offensive, I thought it had interesting points. The author opens with a diatribe about God. He seems very angry and disillusioned with the Church. If you find it offensive, skip it.

The second section of the book presents a history of the Catholic Church, mostly it's mistakes. However, the section is factual and gives an overview of the Church evolving over time. I don't think anyone can deny that the Ch
John Wood
Oct 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book delves into the Bible and the Catholic Church and rips apart everything from unsaintly saints, the gospels to supposed truths and beliefs about God and religion. The author is an ex-Catholic and also looks at the subject from a LBGT perspective. He seems to have done a lot of research and comes up with some interesting details such as saints that never existed and of course, hypocritical, misbehaving clergy. He assails the biases exhibited against Jews, women and anyone who isn't a man ...more
Deborah Replogle
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copies
This book was given to me as an Advanced Review Copy for an honest opinion of it, and I thank the media department, and a whole lotta luck, for letting me get this copy.

Whew! I feel like I've been to confession with the universe, (not God, that's a bad fairytale) and I've been absolved of ....something. Thank you, Dr. Wenke, for putting into words and print and citing sources for what I've been thinking about religion, especially Catholicism for a long time. As a kid, I really wanted to believe
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Did you know that there is a patron saint of bowel movements, or that Saint Anthony's tongue is on display in a European church? The writer of this book really did his homework – he unearths all kinds of interesting facts about saints (Many of the saints Catholics pray to didn't actually exist, and others were actual torturers in the Inquisition or at least supported it) relics (did you know that most churches actually have a piece of a bone or body part of a saint in them?) facts about the pope ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow !! This guy is MAD !!. I was "away" from the church for many, many years. Part of that was because of the church rules and edicts. I felt like what's the use of going to Mass if I can't receive communion. The Church said I was going to hell and there was nothing I could do about it.

But how can you stay away when you've had 11 years of Catholic schooling to remember back to. I'm back now and I almost thought it may possibly be a sin to read this book.

This author is dead on. I always have kno
Henk-Jan van der Klis
Nov 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Previously I read and reviewed You Got To Be Kidding by Dr. Joe Wenke. Tearing down biblical stories to their naked truths in a hilarious, provoking way. And his LBGT perspective is crystal clear. So, when embarking the sequel Papal Bull you expect a take on the Catholic Church. An easy target. Growing up as oldest of eleven childrene in the 50′s and 60′s with all of the clichés about Catholic school in that decades true. Looking back at all the religious nonsense as Wenke calls it, you can eith ...more
Jun 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Hidden within this book are some serious and valid comments about the Catholic Church; it has the basic raw material for a very good book. Unfortunately, the writer is not a sufficiently talented author to pull together the scraps of material he does have into a well-flowing piece of work, nor does he have sufficient raw material to fill a book yet - there is much repetition, and constant requests for people to get in touch with him to help him answer all the questions he has.

It's a shame this b
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, reviews
A NetGalley Read. Will Update with Review.

It was Okay, but I really didn't want to read further. Very much his own opinion and his own experiences. I wish there were more professional points of view featured in the book.

I didn't find the book to be humorous (as the books description states). The book was rather sad and dark.

I agree with a lot of his opinions on the church. It saddens me that people can be so greedy and in some cases downright psychotic.

Informative from his own experiences, but
Katarina Nolte
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This satirical book mocks the church by using actual historical facts. It is a critical and at times humorous analysis of the church’s history from a modern perspective.
The “Herstory” chapter reminds us that biblical culture is no different from the Islamic one or any other patriarchal misogynistic culture. ... Book Review: Papal Bull: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church By Joe Wenke » Katarina Nolte
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Thought Provoking.
While some may think this is a humorous book, I read it more as a tale of someone looking back at a very large portion of their life with sadness. Indeed it is necessary to call the church out on their horrendous errors and this book is much needed in society. We read in the news that the Church is trying to reform itself--Papal Bull is timely and makes for some very interesting reading. Enjoy! NetGalley and TransUber LLC provided an advanced review copy of this book in exchang
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I received this ARC download in exchange for an honest review and couldn't wait to read it. It was a fairly fast read except when you get to the information about all the saints. It was like a page out of my grade school/high school years. I not only laughed a great deal, but it also gave me a lot to think about. You are so programmed in the Catholic schools, you really don't even think about the "how do they know?".
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book on good reads.

An irreverent look at Catholic church history, doctrine, and practices. As a person who as a child was asked not to come back to Sunday school classes for asking questions, I thought it was hilarious. This book is more personal musing than theological debate, although it could cause that. Great read.
Barbara Mayer
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh your god funny. Loved the first book I read and loved this one. Brilliant, funny and so honest. I will read it again and again.

I learned a lot of
things about the Catholic church I did not know about. It really is as bad as I thought it was. Please write more books Joe Wenke.

Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on-it
I received this book free to review from Netgalley. I am not impressed. As a teacher, I found the author's description of his childhood experiences in Catholic school interesting. However, the rest of the book is just his personal diatribe against the Catholic religion. He tries to be funny. Perhaps other ex-Catholics will enjoy it. I did not find it to be very interesting.
Angelica Dimeo
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I got this book from the good reads first reads giveaway
I liked the humor and certain things that get pointed out that
the catholic church does not really seem to answer or want to answer
in some parts of the book my concentration was lacking
but overall a good book that is humorous.
thanks for the opportunity.
Nov 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
The good stuff was few and far between. Mostly just a rant with an overuse of obscene language that wasn't necessary and detracted from the author's point.
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
ARC from NetGalley

I love this book! It is not only informative but funny as hell. It fits my atheist non-beliefs perfectly.
Every time I look at this cover I think of Marilyn Manson.
Alf Erickson
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fucking best!

Papal Bull is by far the funniest book I have ever read about religion, especially the author’s treatment of the Catholic Church. I would give this book ten stars.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Former Catholics, atheists & agnostics,
Shelves: netgalley
I did not grow up Roman Catholic, but I grew up in a town that had a lot of Catholics and had many friends that were Catholic. I’ve been to and in more Catholic weddings than Protestant ones for sure, so I was somewhat familiar with Catholic doctrine and was curious to see what Dr. Wenke had to say about his disillusionment with the church.

Dr. Wenke’s previous book, called You Got to be Kidding is a satirical examination of the Jewish/Christian bible, and this book follows the same path. The cov
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DR. JOE WENKE, an outspoken and articulate LGBT rights activist, is the owner and managing partner of Xperience, a multi-million dollar marketing communications and production company with offices in New York, Boston and Detroit. He is also the founder and publisher of Trans Über, a publishing company with a focus on LBGT rights and promoting freedom and equality for all people.

He began his caree