Double Cross Double Cross
The Code of the Catholic Church

David Ranan
ISBN 9780955413308 (0955413303)
Theo Press, 2007
£15.99

Category: Church History
Subcategory: Roman Catholicism

The back cover of this book states that "unlike 'faithful' insiders… Ranan stands outside the structure and embrace of the Church, lending his analysis a rare degree of objectivity…". This may be an exaggeration: the nature of religion and religious bodies is such that insiders and outsiders alike are rarely objective about them. There is no reason to believe that Dr David Ranan, who calls for the Catholic Church to be dismantled, is an exception.

Double Cross probes the history of the Catholic Church. Its author examines a variety of areas including militant evangelism, inquisition, slavery, Galileo, institutional and personal corruption as well as the Church's relationship with Jews and her attitude to sex and to sexual abuse. Ranan concludes that the Church has not and will not change.

There are plenty of anti-Catholic books in the market. Does this book tell us anything we did not know before? It does and it doesn't: the author has not come up with any new facts but his examination takes a new angle. What makes this book different is the attempt at an across-the-board take of the Church, her policies and her actions. His analysis of various papal and Church mea culpas and his comparison of the different areas of what he refers to as an 'evil' modus operandi are interesting. It is, however, a one-sided view which does not take into account anything that is good about the Catholic Church, nor does it compare the Church with other religions.

Double Cross reads extremely well and I recommend it to readers who are interested in a judgemental analysis of the Church. It is up to them to decide whether Ranan's case is convincing. Some Catholics may find the book hard to take. Curiously, my wife who is not a Catholic was incensed. Having been brought up in a Catholic school, I read it with great interest.

John Shane, August 2007

John Shane is a retired GP.

Theo Press

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