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The Seven Secrets of Successful Catholics [Paperback]

By Paul Wilkes (Author)
Our Price $ 7.61  
Retail Value $ 8.95  
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Item Number 141268  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.94" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.33"
Weight:   0.26 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 1998
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  080913795X  
EAN  9780809137954  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Here are seven common though crucial threads that run through the lives of everyday people whose faith provides them with life, peace and a nurturing framework for their beliefs and actions.

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More About Paul Wilkes

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Wilkes is an American writer, speaker, and filmmaker who is best known for his focus on religion, especially Roman Catholicism and its monastic tradition. Wilkes has written for the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, and Atlantic Monthly. His book, In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest, won a Christopher Award. In addition to Merton, his PBS documentary, Paul was host and writer of the acclaimed television series Six American Families, which won a duPont-Columbia award for documentary excellence.

Paul Wilkes currently resides in Wilmington, in the state of North Carolina. Paul Wilkes was born in 1938.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [5549  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational   [3852  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism   [2524  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
7 Secrets worth a try  Sep 18, 2007
If you appreciate Catholicism for its extensive and detailed Cathecism which you use to relieve yourself of thoughtful prayer, divine guidance, and ethical reflection in your daily life, this book is not for you. On the other hand; if you view all you do through the lens of its traditions and teachings, seek to understand how to live true to that lens each day in a modern and messy world, and are humble enough to acknowledge that you screw it up regularly in spite of yourself, give this book a try. It is actually very encouraging.
This book is just plain wrong  Oct 2, 2006
This book has nothing to do with true Catholicism. If you want to be lulled some more into the liberal thinking that everything is okay than I am praying for you. The Catholic Church is the protector of Divine Truth whether we like it or not. And it will not change its doctrine!! Our parish (OLV in Birmingham, AL) is promoting this book when what we really need is TRUTH! The priests and bishops allowing this to happen are in serious danger as they are leading their sheep astray. I pray for them daily.
Wonderful tool for discovering the basics of Catholic faith  Feb 26, 2006
The book was used as a springboard for discussion in a parish faith sharing group. It helped to create some very meaningful sharing in the group, and the beginning of renewed commitment to the parish.
Uninsightful and angry  Dec 6, 2005
This is one of the worst books on Catholicism that I have read. Wilkes' "secrets" really aren't all that insightful at all: Pray, frequent the Eucharist, belong to a church, etc... Duh. I can obtain more insights on being a "Successful Catholic" from a ten year old.

Even worse, there are two huge flaws with the book. First, he never really defines what a "Successful Catholic" is, and why we should care about their opinions. The interviewees for this book appear to be nothing more than Catholics who share Wilkes' unorthodox and out-of-mainstream opinions of the Church (see flaw number two).

In contrast, consider a fabulous book like Dr. Guarendi's "Back to the Family". In this book, Dr. Ray takes the 100 "best" parents in the country, and gives the reader their best parenting advice. This is a great book, because Dr. Ray spends the first two chapters of the book explaining who these fabulous parents are, what criteria make them successful, how they were selected, and why we should care about them. Wilkes does not do this. He makes no attempt to determine what a "Successful Catholic" is. Instead, he just finds a bunch of people who agree with him and then he gives us his opinions thru them.

The second flaw of the book is the negativity and hostility towards the Catholic Church. Consider some of these direct quotes from the book:

"Successful Catholics may disagree with the church (most do, on a variety of issues) and many of them have been apart from the church at various times in their life." p. 4.

"They (Successful Catholics) can be open to other points of view that may not agree with theirs. Yes, they have firm ideas on what their Catholic life should be about. They may be adamant that the clergy should remain celibate and male; they may differ with the church's teachings on birth control or on the ability of the divorced and remarried to receive the eucharist. Today's Catholics are not what they were a generation ago, when strict, exact guidelines covered so many aspects of their lives and left little room for personal interpretation." p. 38-39.

"The Successful Catholic looks out over this vast tent under which a billion people find their shelter. Under that tent will be people whose conclusions, lifestyles, and very personalities are diametrically in opposition with their own. Are they lesser Catholics? What of the so-called `cafeteria Catholics' or unswervingly traditionalistic Catholics? Does God love them less?"
p. 40-41.

"Successful Catholics acknowledge that while espousing Catholic principles, two priests, two bishops, even two popes might come down very differently on critical issues." p. 38.

Enough said. Do not buy this book. It kills me that Paulist Press would publish this angry and uninsightful rubbish. Paul Wilkes' is out of the mainstream of Catholicism, and seems to really hate the church. You'd be better off buying just about any other book than this one.
Utter pablum  May 27, 2004
Reviewer: emarey
According to Paul Wilkes, "successful" Catholics know that unlike in "the past" there isn't just one answer to various issues such as whether the priesthood should be all male and celibate, whether Christ is really present in the Eucharist, or whether contraception is permissible. Oh, but there is, Paul-- and it's called Catholic doctrine.
There are plenty of churches which don't feature an authoritative hierarchy and binding dogma, but the Roman Catholic church isn't one of them. Wilkes' definition of a successful Catholic (sort of presumptive to define, isn't it?) is apparently someone who is either ignorant of church teaching or willfully disobedient to it.

This book is shallow, wrongheaded and dishonest all at once. You'll get more spiritual and intellectual nourishment watching daytime television.


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