As a cradle Catholic, catechist, and now a master catechist, and also homeschooling my children for 8 years (I haven’t stopped teaching nor mentoring them to this day), I have read, taught, and learned a great deal about my Church. Politics aside, I have felt that she has lead this world through tough times and after the smoke cleared; was still there to nurture and feed her flock. Yes, she made changes along the way, good, bad, or indifferent; however, they were to bring about clearer understanding of certain teachings. Vatican II was no different. Being a Vatican II kid, myself, I was only aware of the changes that transpired in my parish one Sunday morning as the altar position changed and I knew exactly what we were saying…praying. My mother stopped putting a veil on my head before leaving the house…or that dreaded Kleenex with a bobby pin.
Going into this book tour, I knew just by the subject matter of Vatican II, that this was going to be an interesting if not rocky read. Mr. Tobin’s book, “The Good Pope, John XXIIIand Vatican II” is a noble effort to discuss in only 245 pages what impacted the world through the Catholic Church in a very short time span. I’m not the sharpest pin in the sewing basket, but the controversial subject of Vatican II needs more time than this “tip-of-the-iceberg” attempt. In Vatican II, there are 16 documents, for the title to be, “The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church” and Mr. Tobin spending a great deal of time on the Vatican surroundings and the papal shoes in the second part of the book. I can’t help but feel the need to express how huge documents are not even mentioned.
“The Good Pope” starts out with John XXIII’s own history from a poor Italian farming family to his rise through the religious life to being elected to the Chair of Peter in 1958. In part II of the book, the events that took place in the drawing up and opening of the Vatican Council with all the infighting and controversy that took place along with the politics that were unavoidable. All in all, Pope John XXIII was a good and righteous man with intentions of gold, as his desire to “Refresh” the Church monopolized his papacy until his death in 1963, however, the Cuban Missile crisis, the Iron Curtain, and newly televised media presented their own set of struggles that weighed in on Pope John, as well.
This book would be considered a brief introduction to both the Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council as the title of “Remaking” of the Church would need a much larger effort on Mr. Tobin’s part.
Appreciating this opportunity to participate in this book Tour with TLC books and being supplied with Mr. Tobin’s book and would recommend it’s reading as a precursor to something more in depth on the subject.