Breaking Faith: The Pope, the People, and the Fate of Catholicism

Front Cover
Viking Compass, 2001 - Religion - 310 pages
As John Paul II's papacy draws to a close, the Church, its policies, and its future are being scrutinized by governments, religious leaders, and millions of Catholics around the globe. The election of the next pope will have a greater impact on world affairs than that of the next president of the United States -- or the leader of any single nation. In his controversial bestseller Hitler's Pope, John Cornwell eloquently expressed both disagreement with the Catholic Church and his own deeply felt commitment to it. Here, he examines a Catholic Church in crisis, providing a penetrating overview of this institution at a crossroads.

In Breaking Faith, Cornwell explains why he left the Church but returned to it after twenty years because he "couldn't do without it" and because he is convinced that Catholicism still has the power to make the world a better place. Cornwell addresses issues that range from the core concepts of everyday practice -- confession, liturgy, sexual practices, divorce -- to issues that concern the organization of the church globally including the changing face of priesthood, the ordination of women, and the challenge of the conservative movement worldwide. He argues that the Church is a vital channel for good works and a source of broad moral direction, even for those who are not bound by its strictures.

Cornwell has spent a lifetime thinking about individual choice and the Catholic Church. He offers readers a highly provocative, personal, and passionate book that explores both the striking divisions in today's Church and the strengths upon which it can draw to survive and thrive in the coming century. Breaking Faith is sure to spark worldwide debate among Catholicsand non-Catholics alike.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

BREAKING FAITH: The Pope, the People, and the Fate of Catholicism

User Review  -

A thoughtful account arguing that the Catholic Church has condemned itself to irrelevance and even extinction.Cornwell is no stranger to controversy: his books Hitler's Pope (1999) and The Hiding ... Read full review

Breaking faith: the Pope, the people, and the fate of Catholicism

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this semiautobiographical work, a committed Catholic assesses the current state of affairs within Catholicism. A British historian, contributor to the international Catholic weekly the Tablet, and ... Read full review



17 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

John Cornwell is in the department of history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He is a regular feature writer at the Sunday Times (London) and the author and editor of four books on science, including Power to Harm, on the Louisville Prozac trial, as well as Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII and Breaking Faith: Can the Catholic Church Save Itself?

Bibliographic information