Being Catholic Today

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9780007121793: Being Catholic Today

Subtitle: Faith, Doubt and Everyday Life. An inviting dialogue for exploring and understanding the Catholic faith today.

Laurence McTaggart knows that many people have been hurt by the Catholic church, are confused by it or disagree with it. A Benedictine Monk, he aims to give a message of peace and reconciliation to those disaffected while encouraging other Catholics and those considering the faith.

By exploring the Church’s teaching and the issues that arise from it, McTaggart presents a dialogue rather than a bombast of doctrine. While he tackles many subjects that have traditionally been taboo (such as suicide), his tone is sensitive and encouraging.

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Review:

Writing about religion is never easy because the topic is abstract and the temptation to fall into jargon and sanctimonious language is always acute. It is also difficult for the professional religious person to address lay people without being condescending. A Benedictine monk from Ampleforth, Laurence McTaggart, manages to avoid all these pitfalls to present us with a modern, down to earth and crisp conversation about the difficulties and joys of the Catholic faith. McTaggart begins by laying a few doctrinal foundations before going on to consider our relationship to work, wealth, prayer, sin and confession. After considering various tricky matters of Church discipline he looks at ethical issues like sexuality, morality, genetic engineering and suicide. To all these matters he brings a light touch, weaving in illustrative events from day to day life and acknowledging the huge difficulties which the high ideals of the Catholic faith present ordinary people. He steers through the rocks and the hard places to offer a workable spiritual life for ordinary Catholics. This hardback volume is handsome, but with such a popular style McTaggart's book should be accessible to more readers in a less expensive paperback format. The book would also be improved by the inclusion of a small reading list for each chapter so readers could explore further if they wish. These criticisms don't detract from the fact that McTaggart is a down to earth apologist for the Catholic faith who writes in a fresh engaging style reminiscent of the best of CS Lewis. --Dwight Longenecker

From the Back Cover:

'Christ does not offer us a set of answers or a set of cures. He offers us a way of living real human lives in the real world.'

With sensitivity and encouragement, 'Being Catholic Today' explores difficult issues of faith, such as why some are banned form the sacraments and why prayer can be so hard; and divisive issues such as divorce, abortion, suicide, women priests and homosexuality

While reaching out to the disaffected and uncertain, Fr McTaggart affirms the faith of the committed. His message of reconciliation will help bring down barriers between people and the priesthood.

'Something real for the spiritually bankrupt… An engaging book which ahs been thoughtfully crafted.'
CATHOLIC TIMES

'The great thing about Fr McTaggart is that his is always the truly Catholic Church with plenty of space of sinners and seekers.'
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