A Call for a Rebirth in Catholic Literature

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This post was originally published at realromancatholic.com

“…seeing that the chief instrument employed by our enemies is the press, which in great part receives from them its inspiration and support, it is important that Catholics should oppose the evil press by a press that is good, for the defense of truth, out of love for religion, and to uphold the rights of the Church. While the Catholic press is occupied in laying bare the perfidious designs of the sects, in helping and seconding the action of the sacred Pastors, and in defending and promoting Catholic works, it is the duty of the faithful efficaciously to support this press, both by refusing or ceasing to favor in any way the evil press; and also directly, by concurring, as far as each one can, in helping it to live and thrive…”

– Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Dall’alto Dell’apostolico Seggio

Today’s bookstore and library shelves are full of books, both fiction, and non-fiction, which are supposedly Catholic. Many of these books, are laced with the liberal, left-wing interpretation of Catholicism that became prevalent after Vatican II.

This means that the people who read these books will be exposed to this version of Catholicism and since they don’t know any better, they will take it to be true. This is sad because there was a beauty, a majesty, and a simplicity that most people who have never experienced it will miss out. Back then, a spade was called a spade and a sin a sin.

On the other hand, these books can also lead to misunderstandings among the Protestant community. How many conservative Protestants have gotten an erroneous view of Catholicism because they read a book by a New Age “Catholic”? If these people are exposed to the Truth, they will recognize it and be drawn to it.

Overall, today’s literature is devoid of any religion, replacing it with the “science” of evolution. I learned one thing from my 4 years in a Protestant college, a little word called, “worldview”. We need to return to a Catholic worldview in literature. As Our Lord said,  we must be in the world, but not of the world. “And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, DRB)

As a writer, I hope to bring back what has by in large been lost. My goal is to return religion to literature, Catholic religion in particular. I’ve already written several mysteries involving a priest named Fr. Benedict Granger, who was a private detective before he took up the cloth. I plan to write more and I plan to include references to the Latin Mass and traditional Catholic moral theology.

I’m not saying any of this to pat myself on the back, but to show how Catholics can evangelize and reawaken interest in the Traditions of the Catholic Church through words. This is a call to all Catholic writers to pitch in and take back Only with much prayer and effort will we be able to win the world back for Our Lord.

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John Paul WohlscheidJohn Paul Wohlscheid is the author of  Church Triumphant: 25 Men and Women who Gave Their Lives to Christ, Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth and Trouble is My Client, and the upcoming A Battle for the Faith (with Theresa Linden).  He blogs at John Paul Wohlschied, Author.

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4 thoughts on “A Call for a Rebirth in Catholic Literature”

  1. Very nice John Paul, my only thought on the issue would be what exactly that Catholic “worldview” is? Is it Nancy Pelosi’s view? Fr. Barrons? Or Micheal Voris’s? Are they all not “Catholic” in some way or another? Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many ways to live out the faith, but at some point you are going to run into the labyrinth formed by our pluralistic and self-centered society with the Church at the end of it, and people are going to say, “Now what?” I wish that we had priests like Fr. Granger in the real world- he sounds interesting and I will try and take it in.

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    1. Tony, I’m currently working on editing my Fr. Granger stories so I can publish them as an ebook. When I talk about Catholic worldview, I’m talking about when the Church had no problem calling a sin a sin, when the clergy were full of men of heroic virtue.

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      1. I agree, I have been working on a series of movie reviews for a local Catholic newspaper called “Movies for the Manly Among Us” and they are about movies that highlight strong and positive male virtues even if they are not specifically Catholic or even religious. I want to move onto to doing book reviews along the same line of thought, so I will keep you in mind! Take care.

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