UPDATE: Book giveaway is now closed, with congratulations to Tim B., our winner!
On the Blessed Virgin’s birthday, we thought it appropriate to offer a review and gift giveaway of a book that we at WOR consider to be the best “one-stop” read to date regarding the overarching crisis in the Church: the redoubtable Henry Sire’s Phoenix from the Ashes (2015).
As a Catholic and Oxford-trained professional historian, few would be better positioned to author this kind of work, and Sire hits it out of the park – one of the reasons it’s a top pick at our main site.
As one American theologian recently remarked to us:
Dr. Sire covers the ground with a clear mastery of his subject matter: examining preceding crisis epochs in the Church and certain lessons to be gleaned from these; treating the appearance of the so-called “modern world” and the errors rapidly insinuating themselves into Catholic thought by the 19th century; offering a clear-eyed explication of the Second Vatican Council’s fault lines and failures, as well as the vertiginous collapse that followed in cultus, creed, and code.
Happily, he ends his historical survey just after the conclave that gave us Pope Francis (whose pontificate has gone on to prove every point made in Part II of the book), concluding with an assessment of various indicators of recovery in the broader Church, and the return to Sacred Tradition now visible in many sectors.
Sire’s treatment of the immutability of Catholic doctrine and the authority of Church Councils is of great worth for those still grappling with a certain “magisterialism” in its various forms, and the respective chapters on the undermining of the Mass and the Priesthood are even more powerfully orienting today, as headlines continue to appear to reinforce his points.
Our only significant complaints against Phoenix are that 1) it wasn’t published decades earlier, and 2) that Angelico Press does not offer it in hardcover – for a text approaching 500 pages that one wants to consult repeatedly, a sewn softcover is less than ideal.
In sum, for Catholics questioning the increasingly visible ecclesiastical fallout and trying to get their bearings, an historical survey may be just what the doctor ordered; and for those still woefully immersed in the modernist Matrix, this could well be their “red pill.”
Whispers of Restoration Rating: 5/5
Free Book Giveaway
Win a free copy of Sire’s Phoenix From the Ashes by entering the giveaway here,
and bravo the restoration!