Desire & Deception
Format: Paperback (Autographed)
Publisher: Tumblar House
The Catholic Church is THE great fact of our entire civilization. Art, architecture, music, literature, theatre, law - even cuisine and sports - at their best, all bear her mark. However much she and her teachings may be despised by media and government, however many of her children may abandon her, this is a reality that cannot be shaken. For over two millennia, it has been so.
Yet at the same time, the Church has perhaps never faced so great a combination of challenges as she does today. Most secular governments oppose her to greater or lesser degrees; the Mass, her most solemn rite, has in many places been turned into a collection of strange ceremonies where irreverence views with sheer banality to conceal the awe-filled reality of what is actually happening - the descent of Jesus Christ Himself into the bread and wine on the altar.
There remains an enormous question which few are anxious to tackle: why bother with the Church at all? Why is she here? In Desire and Deception, Charles A. Coulombe makes the case that the role Christ first envisaged for her - that of the sole means of Salvation for mankind - has been completely obscured in the minds of the vast majority of Catholics today. He gives the history of how this came about, explains that this obscurity is at the root of the Church's current internal dilemmas, and shows that Catholics must regain their sense of mission if they are to fulfill Christ's mandate.
Charles A. Coulombe is one of North America’s most respected and sought-after commentators on culture, religion, history, and politics. A specialist in the history and government of the Catholic Church, Coulombe’s influence and expertise extend far beyond matters religious. He has written on topics ranging from the history of rum to haunted houses to a history of the United States.
Mr. Coulombe is a social and political commentator of note. In 2005 he provided narration and commentary for ABC News during the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the subsequent election and installation of Pope Benedict XVI. A former journalist, Mr. Coulombe served as a film reviewer and Contributing Editor of the National Catholic Register, during which time he received the Christian Law Institute's Christ King Journalism Award. Coulombe's work has appeared in over than 20 journals, including regular columns in Fidelity (Australia), PRAG (London), Monarchy Canada, and Creole Magazine (Louisiana). He has also been a frequent contributor to such publications as Success, Catholic Twin Circle, Gnosis, FATE, and the New Oxford Review.
As an informed and passionate speaker on a wide variety of religious, social, political, historical, and literary topics, Mr. Coulombe has appeared on lecture circuits throughout the North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1992 he lectured at Oxford University and the following year embarked on a lecture tour of Ireland and Great Britain, returning to Oxford and Cambridge in 1995. Coulombe has also delivered lectures at the University of Southern California on the history of Rock & Roll and at Cleveland's John Carroll University on the history of medieval monarchy. In February 2011, he was invited to take part in a debate on the abolition of the monarchy before the prestigious Oxford Union.
Very convincing and well-argued
spot on. loved it
Coulombe, in characteristically witty style, upholds the primacy of the Will over the Intellect and Plato over Aristotle, and he cuts through the fog and the "slithering" of certain theologians and philosophers.
It is Coulombe's assertion that the Church has long taught the necessity of water baptism for salvation, despite common deviation in the last two centuries. Before then, "There were those who believed in Invincible Ignorance, and in Baptism of Desire. But these were for the most part confined to Universities and Seminaries."
He points out that it was common practice for jailed catechumens and those in danger of death to be baptized, and so claims that use them as examples for "baptism of desire" or "baptism of blood" are unsubstantiated -- "one's own fallen blood, sprung of Adam, simply could not have the salvific effects of Christ's Precious Blood", he writes. He argues in response to users of St. Ambrose's Oration that the saint "in fact knew, that Valentinian had indeed been baptized, but was not at liberty to reveal the circumstances of the event, which presumably were bound up with the Emperor's mysterious death". He also highlights potential contradictions in St. Thomas Aquinas' stance. And he says that while the Council of Trent ruled that "the laver of regeneration or its desire" brings *justification*, it does not necessarily bring *salvation* ("which can only come about if the individual goes ahead and receives the Sacrament and then finally perseveres", according to the author).
There's a lot in here. For background, Coulombe shares several enlightening bits on the Americas that are given more context in his other work, and he goes into much detail on the case of Fr. Leonard Feeney, whom he clearly admires a great deal.
It would be nice if this work (written in 1993) were to be expanded to answer CCC #1258-1261.