The Prodigal Church
Restoring Catholic Tradition in an Age of Deception
by Brandon McGinley
For too many decades, our Catholic Church has diluted her distinctive traditions in order to please contemporary culture, losing not only her patrimony but much of her moral authority – just when the world needs it most.
Today, with our country and our Church suffering their worst crises since the 1960s, distressed American Catholics are understandably hungry for big solutions to their big problems. Fortunately, where today so many see only darkness, author Brandon McGinley sees light, arguing that these dire days offer us an opportunity to rescue our Church — if only we have the holy confidence to seize this God-given moment.
Unlike many who have responded to these crises, McGinley does not propose that we return to an unrealistically romanticized Catholic past. Rather, dwelling in the perennial teachings of the Church, which have animated the best of ages, he shows how, with the help of much prayer and sacramental grace, we can reinvigorate our present Christian communities in ways that will transform not only ourselves and the Church but the entire world.
With painstaking clarity, he unearths what was working — and what wasn’t — in the decades before Vatican II, and he shows how genuine Catholic renewal can emerge only from authenticity to our Catholic identity and tradition, applied to the contemporary world. We have everything we need — we have Christ! — but we need the confidence to bring His grace and truth to the world.
We live in a time when Catholic institutions are attached to the prevailing order, but McGinley argues they must operate without political fear as witnesses to the truth of the Catholic Faith with a boldness that emerges from holiness, which is the product of grace acting on our souls and in our communities.
Here is our road map for renewal — a roadmap for families, for schools, for parishes, and, indeed, for the institutional Church. In this crisis, we can complain and despair, or we can seize the opportunity to demonstrate that the Catholic Church is the means to bringing the grace and peace of heaven to earth.