Thursday, September 27, 2012
Book Review: The Good Pope by Greg Tobin

After reading a copy of "The Good Pope: The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of a Church" by Greg Tobin, I think that a new subtitle would be more appropriate.  Perhaps that new title should be "The Good Pope: A Shockingly Inaccurate and Biased Biography" or even "The Good Pope: A Liberal's Take on Vatican II"

Mr. Tobin's "biography", which initially showed promise, is nothing more than a liberal's slanted view of history and a poor biography from a historical point of view.  On the first page of the Preface, Tobin writes, "[John XXIII] was a megawatt celebity in the age of such secular saints as Elizabeth Taylor...Fidel Castor and Nikita Khrushchev."  To use the word "saint" to refer to atheistic, Communist leaders is appauling.

Just turn the page and read another glaring error when Tobin writes, "Thomas Aquinas, Edith Stein,...Mother Teresa of Calcutta are models of sanctity and service who have been canonized by the Catholic Church."  Last I checked, Mother Teresa was beatified and not yet canonized.  This is a common fact - a quite glaring factual error.

Tobin praises John XXIII's (and the Vatican Council's) erroneous statements on Jews in Nostra aetate and Unitatis redintegratio. Have we forgotten the role of the Jews in the death of Christ?

On Page 174, Tobin again incorrectly writes "The conservative bloc [at the Council] included...Marcel-Francois Lefebvre...the most conservative of the lot, [who] would later lead a major schismatic movement in the 1970s and beyond."  So Tobin also believes the liberal lie that Archbishop Lefebvre was a schismatic for wishing to remain a Catholic when the leaders at the time departed from the True Faith.  Tobin has revealed his true colors with this statement (not counting all the other instances).

The book is full of liberal bias (e.g. promotion of the false principles of Vatican II, agreements with the liberal policies that led to a destruction of the Faith and lack of belief in the Real Presence).  When will the liberals realize that Vatican II did not succeed?  How often have these people forgotten that admonishment in 1 Peter 5:8 ?  The Second Vatican Council was in its essence a revolt against our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church and how pleased satan is with the result.  Kyrie eleison!

Have we forgotten the importance of doctrine?  Perhaps we need a reminder from Bishop Williamson:

Number CCLXVI (266)
18 August 2012

The scorn of “doctrine” is an immense problem today. The “best” of Catholics in our 21st century pay lip-service to the importance of “doctrine”, but in their modern bones they feel instinctively that even Catholic doctrine is some kind of prison for their minds, and minds must not be imprisoned. In Washington, D.C., around the interior dome of the Jefferson Memorial, that quasi-religious temple of the United States’ champion of liberty, runs his quasi-religious quotation: I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. Surely he had Catholic doctrine in mind, amongst others. Modern man’s quasi-religion excludes having any fixed doctrine.

However, a sentence from the “Eleison Comments” of two weeks ago ( EC 263, July 28) gives a different angle on the nature and importance of “doctrine”. It ran: So long as Rome believes in its Conciliar doctrine, it is bound to use any such (“non-doctrinal”) agreement to pull the SSPX in the direction of the (Second Vatican) Council. In other words what drives Rome supposedly to discount “doctrine” and at all costs to conciliarize the SSPX is their own belief in their own Conciliar doctrine. As Traditional Catholic doctrine is - one hopes - the driving force of the SSPX, so Conciliar doctrine is the driving force of Rome. The two doctrines clash, but each of them is a driving force.

In other words, “doctrine” is not just a set of ideas in a man’s head, or a mental prison. Whatever ideas a man chooses to hold in his head, his real doctrine is that set of ideas that drives his life. Now a man may change that set of ideas, but he cannot not have one. Here is how Aristotle put it: “If you want to philosophize, then you have to philosophize. If you don’t want to philosophize, you still have to philosophize. In any case a man has to philosophize.” Similarly, liberals may scorn any set of ideas as a tyranny, but to hold any set of ideas to be a tyranny is still a major idea, and it is the one idea that drives the lives of zillions of liberals today, and of all too many Catholics. These should know better, but all of us moderns have the worship of liberty in our bloodstream.

Thus doctrine in its real sense is not just an imprisoning set of ideas, but that central notion of God, man and life that directs the life of every man alive. Even if a man is committing suicide, he is being driven by the idea that life is too miserable to be worth continuing. A notion of life centred on money may drive a man to become rich; on pleasure to become a rake; on recognition to become famous, and so on. But however a man centrally conceives life, that concept is his real doctrine.

Thus conciliar Romans are driven by Vatican II as being their central notion to undo the SSPX that rejects Vatican II, and until they either succeed or change that central notion, they will continue to be driven to dissolve Archbishop Lefebvre’s SSPX. On the contrary the central drive of clergy and laity of the SSPX should be to get to Heaven, the idea being that Heaven and Hell exist, and Jesus Christ and his true Church provide the one and only sure way of getting to Heaven. This driving doctrine they know to be no fanciful invention of their own, and that is why they do not want it to be undermined or subverted or corrupted by the wretched neo-modernists of the Newchurch, driven by their false conciliar notion of God, man and life. The clash is total.

Nor can it be avoided, as liberals dream it can. If falsehoods win, eventually even the stones of the street will cry out (Lk.XIX, 40). If Truth wins, still Satan will go on raising error after error, until the world ends. But “He that perseveres to the end will be saved”, says Our Lord (Mt.XXIV, 13).

Kyrie eleison.

But the liberals do not think logically. If something was wrong in the past and settled then by the authority of the Church, then we are not free to continue debating it. We are not free to change the Rite of Mass which was set in place by Pope St. Pius V for all times and peoples.

This book is a sad reminder of the foolishness of liberals and their agenda. I instead suggest you pick up a copy of I Accuse the Council or Rhine Flows into the Tiber [Accurate and Unbiased Vatican II Biography] or Trojan Horse in the City of God: How Godlessness Crept Into the Sanctuary--And How to Thrust It Out Again

4 comment(s):

del_button September 28, 2012 at 4:15 PM
Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thank you for being a part of the tour.

del_button October 9, 2012 at 7:01 AM
Ebeth said...

Matthew, there is SO much I don't know nor understand about Vat II and our Church history. Years of study and Catechesis still leaves me with inadequacies. I am reading this book as well for the tour later this week.

Now I'm nervous!! Blessings to you during the year of FAITH!

del_button October 9, 2012 at 8:54 AM
Matthew said...

Thank you for your comment. I suggest you check out these authentic Catholic courses to help you.

del_button November 28, 2012 at 5:19 PM
Anonymous said...

Perhaps Matthew's opinions as zealously proposed in his book review are as far to the right of center as the author Greg Tobin's biography of the Good Pope John XXIII is to the left of center. What I find most disturbing is his tone. He may be right, but he has pursued his agenda with the self-righteousness and warmongering of a crusader. I sense anger in his words rather than charity. To quote wisdom from Pope John XXII's encyclical Ad Petri Cathedram, "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas." (In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things charity.) May God continue to forgive and bless the whole world, including the Catholic Church with its warring liberal and conservative factions.

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