An “intellectually satisfying, and spiritually moving,” argument for a questioning, conscience-driven faith, by a New York Times bestselling author (Booklist).
Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills has been asked more than once why he remains in the Church, especially in the wake of his bestselling book Papal Sins, which examined the darker side of the religion’s history. In Why I Am a Catholic, he offers some persuasive and heartfelt answers.
Beginning with a reflection on his early experiences as a child, and later as a Jesuit seminarian, Wills reveals the importance of Catholicism in his own life. He discusses G.K. Chesterton, a personal hero whose writings brought him comfort after he left the seminary. He goes on to challenge, in clear and forceful terms, the claim that criticism or reform of the papacy is an assault on the faith itself. For Wills, a Catholic can be both loyal and critical, a loving child who stays with his father even if the parent makes mistakes.
Why I Am a Catholic also goes beyond his personal experiences to present a sweeping narrative covering two thousand years of Catholicism, revealing that the papacy, far from being an unchanging institution, has been transformed dramatically over the millennia—and can be reimagined in the future. At a time when the Church faces various crises and struggles, Garry Wills offers an important look at both its past and its future, in a book that is “one part autobiography, three parts history, and one part confession of faith” (Booklist).
“It is a great satisfaction to have the Church’s history analyzed by a mind so critical but still so in love.” —The New Yorker