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Reviewed by Roy T. James for Readers' Favorite
Five Anti-Catholic Myths by Gerard M. Verschuuren examines the connection the Catholic Church has with slavery, the crusades, the Inquisition, Galileo, and the Holocaust. The author begins by examining slavery as it existed during the period of the Old Testament and how Jesus confronted this. The military expeditions launched by the church powers are viewed along with the wars against Muslims and the battle for Jerusalem. After visiting the history of the Inquisition, the author makes a spirited defense of the role played by the church in the infamous episode of Galileo, showing the astronomer’s martyrdom as pure fiction. Examination of the role of the Catholic Church in the Nazi atrocities on Jews, where the author finds no evidence of anti-Semitic feeling, brings this book to an end.
Five Anti-Catholic Myths by Gerard M. Verschuuren is a serious study to examine some of the well known black marks against the Catholic Church. Those analyzed in this book pertain to the “dirty history” of the Catholic Church and the author sets out to prove that the church’s “dirty history” is not that dirty at all. The Catholic Church can be seen as all too often more concerned about the interests of the church than about the common interests of humanity. The author finds that the Catholic Church made mistakes when it came to slavery, the crusades, the Inquisition, Galileo, and the Holocaust. The references the author relied on to reach these conclusions could have been shown more explicitly in this book. This would have given a more academic look to this study, greatly augmenting its stature and acceptability.
I think the author did a good job of presenting the material in a fair and interesting way. I especially liked the way he handled controversial topics like the inquisition. Overall, a well delivered study and an interesting book.