chronicles many signs of hope in the Church over recent years in The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn
, with a particular focus on developments from the time of Pope Benedict XVI’s election until the present. It’s a birds-eye view that ranges over a wide terrain: the growth of faithful colleges, the Church’s purification by way of the sexual abuse scandal, the Pope’s trips to the US and Britain, the growing number of converts, and more. The accumulation of evidences for hope in a single volume makes it a worthwhile read. In an age of widespread cynicism in the media — even in Catholic media, at times — it’s refreshing to read a book that accentuates the many good things God is accomplishing in the communion of the Church.
For all of its positivity, and its broad rather than deep analysis, this is a volume about hope, not simple optimism. A passage from the end of his chapter on men and women religious says it best: “None of this is to whitewash any obvious problems. To ignore certain data and highlight the above information is not to look at the Catholic world with rose-colored glasses. Rather, it is to accentuate the positive…. Today is a new day. It’s a day of hope, the sort of hope Our Lord Jesus Christ always encourages us to have, come what may. There are just so many good things happening for which to praise and thank him….” (81).
This book is a reminder that while the seas that the Church travels are stormy -- as they ever have been -- there are many reasons to be grateful, and hopeful, about the way God is moving in his body, the Church.