Structures of Deceit?

Dear Fr. Bloom,

I have become aware recently of a book by Garry Wills about the papacy and church called Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit. I have ordered it because several acquaintances have used it to denigrate my beliefs, and I want to know what the fuss is all about. Can you comment on this book, or recommend reviews?

Bill Ghormley


Dear Bill,

Do you get First Things? In the Aug/Sept issue Russell Hittinger has a concise review of Papal Sins. After describing the content, he observes:

"The argument is at every step self-consuming. Rome is wrong to deny ordination to women, but by the same token it was wrong centuries ago about the nature of priesthood; Rome should have rendered a different judgment in the case of contraception, but there is no authentic apostolic authority to make such a judgment in the first place. Wills' Syllabus errorum leaves virtually no room for what used to be the liberal understanding of the development of Catholic doctrine..."

As I try to argue on my website we need to begin with the most basic questions: Does God exist? Is Jesus God? Did Jesus found the Catholic Church?

When you read the book, let me know what you think.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

Catholic League Review of Papal Sins

Giving the Devil his Due: Garry Wills has a quite good introductory biography of Augustine.