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Fortnight for Freedom Reading Essentials: Books About Religious Freedom

The USCCB has issued a call for a Fortnight for Freedom in celebration of the many rights that American citizens enjoy and to patriotically pray for our nation and the current challenges facing religious freedoms in the US. As part of that effort, we’ve assembled this list of books on the subjects of religious freedom and faith and politics from some of the most respected Catholic voices in America.

 NEW!!

$20.00 Hardcover edition

Born out of a speech celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, in which emperors Constantine I and Licinius granted Christians legal rights, this book by Cardinal Angelo Scola gives attention to the crisis of religious freedom in the twenty-first century. Let’s Not Forget God outlines how Christianity has been at the center of creating a pluralistic society, from the Roman Empire in 313 to the American Revolution in 1776. This bold vision of freedom brings religion into the realm of public debate without allowing the state to banish or control it.

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eBook Exclusives: The following titles are important messages from prominent Catholic leaders and are available only as eBooks at a very low price:


True Freedom by Timothy Dolan

99 Cent eBook Original

Are American liberties on the endangered species list? In this eBook original, the Archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issues a plea for all citizens to reject the cynicism of the day and foster a culture in which religious freedom and all human life are infinitely valued.

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A Heart on Fire Charles J. Chaput

99 Cent eBook Original

In this eBook original, Charles J. Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, offers a powerful manifesto on the need for Americans to protect religious freedom. By thoughtfully interpreting and applying Catholic values to this confusing moment in history, he provides hope for an American audience hungry for courage and counsel.

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Proclaim Liberty by Carl Anderson$2.99 eBook Original
In this ebook, comprised of three talks Carl Anderson gave between April and August 2012, the author argues that all people of faith ought to approach politics in an effort to transform the divisiveness and hostility in today’s political arena into a society in which every person is respected and valued—a society that Pope John Paul II has called a “Civilization of Love.”

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Available in Print and eBook Formats:

On Heaven and Earth by Pope Francis A conversation between Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, and prominent Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka that brings remarkable insight to subjects such as politics, abortion, religious freedom, and the intersection of faith and the public arena.

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Why Catholicism Matters by Bill Donohue

One of the most visible representatives of the Catholic Church in the United States shows how the Church is far from being an ossified carry-over tradition from antiquity. Why Catholicism Matters celebrates the significant contribution the Church makes in many aspects of today’s world and applies its wisdom to issues on a personal, national, and global scale.

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God in Action by Cardinal George

In this bracing manifesto, His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, one of the leading Catholic intellectuals in America today, provides refreshing insight into the intersection of faith and the public sphere. Finding both challenges and reasons for hope, he lays out a vision for national life that respects natural law, human dignity, and the essential ways religion uniquely contributes to the common good.

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Render Unto Caesar by Charles ChaputFew topics in recent years have ignited as much public debate as the balance between religion and politics. Does religious thought have any place in political discourse? Do religious believers have the right to turn their values into political action? What does it truly mean to have a separation of church and state? The very heart of these important questions is here addressed by one of the leading voices on the topic, Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia.

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A People of Hope by John AllenOne of the world’s most respected religion journalists profiles New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, one of the country’s—and possibly the world’s—most important Catholic leaders through lengthy exclusive interviews. Hear Dolan’s thoughts on many issues including religious freedom and political involvement.

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Beyond a House Divided by Carl AndersonFrom health care, to the role of religion in America, to abortion, to the importance of traditional ethics in business and society, Anderson uses fresh polling data and keen insight in Beyond a House Divided to show that a surprising consensus has emerged despite these debates. He sheds light on what’s been missing in the public and political debates of the last several years: the consensus that isn’t hard to find if you know where to look.

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The Right to be Wrong by Kevin HassonIn the running debate we call the “culture wars,” there exists a great feud over religious diversity. One side demands that only their true religion be allowed in the public square; the other insists that no religions ever belong there. The Right to Be Wrong offers a solution, drawing its lessons from a series of stories–both contemporary and historical–that illustrates the struggle to define religious freedom.

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NEWS: Scott Hahn’s ANGELS AND SAINTS Blog Tour: May 27 – June 7

To celebrate the release of Dr. Scott Hahn’s newest book, Angels and Saints, we’re hitting the road, ahem web, for a virtual book tour to 12 of the blogosphere’s finest Catholic blogs!

In Angels and Saints, Dr. Hahn sets out to bring Catholics closer to their faith through a considerate examination of two of Catholicism’s most sacred traditions. The result is a rich and thoughtful book that shows how the angels and saints are with us in everyday life.

Dr. Hahn writes that his process for choosing saints for the book was personal, “I notice that my chosen saints tend to be those with whom I have something in common. Most are teachers, scholars, and writers.”

In a similar way, we’ve asked the bloggers on this tour to write about one of the saints from the book that is particularly significant to him/her.

On each day of the Angels and Saints Blog Tour (May 27 to June 7) one of 12 participating bloggers will post a reflection on the saint of his/her choosing.

We are grateful to all of the incredible bloggers who will be hosting stops on the tour. Please support them by visiting their sites and reading their reflections. Additionally, we will be giving away copies of Angels and Saints at many of the stops along the way. Be sure to check in daily for your chance to win!

 

May 27: St. Michael and the Angels – Catholic Katie 

May 28: Moses - Abigail’s Alcove

May 29: St. Paul – Catholic Bibles

May 30: St. Ignatius of Antioch – The Orant

May 31: St. Irenaeus of Lyons – Seasons of Grace

June 1: St. Jerome – Stuart’s Study

June 2: St. Monica and St. Augustine – Happy Catholic

June 3: St. Thomas Aquinas – Blog of the Courtier

June 4: St. Therese of Lisieux – Single Catholic Girl

June 5: St. Maximilian Kolbe – Random Acts of Momness

June 6: St. Josemaria Escriva – Catholic Mom

June 7: Queen of All Saints, Mother of the Church – This Cross I Embrace

 

About the Book

Angels and saints. Catholics tend to think of them as different from the rest of us. They’re cast in plaster or simpering on a holy card, performing miracles with superhero strength, or playing a harp in highest heaven.

Yet they are very near to us in every way. In this lively book, Scott Hahn dispels the false notions and urban legends people use to keep the saints at a safe distance. The truth is that Jesus Christ has united heaven and earth in a close communion. Drawing deeply from Scripture, Dr. Hahn shows that the hosts of heaven surround the earthly Church as a “great cloud of witnesses.” The martyrs cry out from heaven’s altar begging for justice on the earth. The prayers of the saints and angels rise to God, in the Book of Revelation, like the sweet aroma of incense.

 

About the Author

Dr. Scott Hahn holds the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990, and he is the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. In 2005, he was appointed as the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  In 2014, he was appointed as the first McEssy Distinguished Visiting Professor of Biblical Theology at Mundelein Seminary of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. Dr. Hahn is also the bestselling author of numerous books, including The Lamb’s Supper, Reasons to Believe, and Rome Sweet Home (coauthored with his wife, Kimberly), and is editor of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology. Some of his most recent books are Many Are Called, Consuming the Word, The Catholic Bible Dictionary, and Signs of Life. He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.

 

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Scott Hahn, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@randomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


PRESS RELEASE: A Bold Vision of Freedom

One of Catholicism’s Most Astute Thinkers Looks at Religious Freedom in New and Provocative Ways

“For anyone concerned with religion and the common good, Let’s Not Forget God by Cardinal Angelo Scola is a must-read” said John L. Allen, Jr., associate editor of The Boston Globe and author of The Global War on Christians.

On the heels of the Harvard “black mass” controversy and in a political climate where the issue of religious freedom is a constant topic of conversation, one of Catholicism’s most influential leaders is weighing in with a new book that was inspired by a centuries-old speech.

In Let’s Not Forget God (Image, June 3, 2014), Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan and the person many people thought was going to become Pope after Pope Benedict XVI resigned, reflects on the continued importance of religious freedom and how it has affected all aspects of common life, from religion to politics and economics.

Born out of a speech celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, Let’s Not Forget God demonstrates how these centuries-old debates have contributed to the development of Western societies from the Roman Empire in 313 to the American Revolution in 1776.

“Simply reviewing the major events of the seventeen centuries between the Edict of Milan and the present day should allow one to grasp the grave contradictions connected to the practice, and even to the conception, of religious freedom,” Scola writes.

In Let’s Not Forget God, Scola relates theology to everyday life, giving attention to how religious freedom has affected the development of democracy in Western societies and specifically addresses the historical view of religious freedom in the United States in light of the contemporary case of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.

“In the project of elaborating a new vision of religious freedom, Americans will be interested to know, Scola believes our legal and philosophical tradition is better positioned to lead the way than Europe’s,” notes Allen in the forward to Let’s Not Forget God.

“Scola continues to be among the most interesting and influential churchmen on the global stage,” writes Allen. “What this short book offers, therefore, is insight into how a true Catholic heavyweight approaches the Church’s most consequential political concern today, which is religious freedom.”

The publication of Let’s Not Forget God is particularly relevant in light of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) upcoming Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve which will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2014.

At the urging of the US bishops, the Fortnight for Freedom calls on American Catholics to take part in two weeks of prayer, education and action for religious freedom. According to the USCCB, the theme of this year’s Fortnight will focus on the freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with human dignity and the Church’s teaching.

 

 

To learn more about Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve visit www.fortnight4freedom.org

To request a review copy of Let’s Not Forget God, contact Katie Moore, publicist, at kamoore@randomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


INTERVIEW: Patrick Madrid talks about his new book WHY BE CATHOLIC?

Q. What inspired you to write Why Be Catholic?

It was more a matter of “who” than “what.” Over the last 30 years or so, I have encountered countless people who have posed this very question. Some couldn’t imagine anything more ridiculous or objectionable than the Catholic Church, and others who were genuinely interested in becoming Catholic sought answers and information. I’m convinced that “Why be Catholic?” is a very important question, whether it comes from a scoffer or from a seeker. I wrote this book so I could present to the reader, regardless of his or her feelings about the Catholic Church, what I believe to be the compelling and convincing answers. These reasons can change one’s life for the better if they are honestly considered and explored.

 

Q. What do you love most about being Catholic?

I love being Catholic the way Noah loved being on the Ark when the flood came. Like the Ark, the Catholic Church is not perfect. It’s not tidy, clean, and odor-free. It has plenty of problems and challenges and unruly passengers, but it’s still the “ark of salvation” given to us by God and I love that I get to be on board. I love the beauty of the Catholic Church’s teachings, its Liturgy, art, architecture, music, and wisdom. I love the Catholic Church because it is “ever ancient, ever new.” I love tracing its existence back 2000 years to Jesus Christ and the Apostles, and I get to be part of that. I love being Catholic because of its richness and diversity. It’s a big hospital for sick people – sinners, like you and me — and it’s in the Catholic Church that I can receive the cure for what ails me. I love being Catholic because I can have the most personal relationship with Jesus Christ possible, by receiving Him, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Holy Eucharist.

 

Q. How did you become a Catholic apologist? What is the most rewarding part of your job? What is the most challenging?

Although born-&-raised Catholic, and never left the Church or even had the slightest doubt about whether I should be Catholic, I did nevertheless experience a profound re-conversion or recommitment to Jesus when I was in my mid-20s. As I was praying to God to show me what to do with my life, the door to the world of apologetics opened suddenly and completely unexpectedly. I tell the whole story here: http://www.catholic.com/audio-player/7779, but the short version is that God answered my prayers by opening that door to work at Catholic Answers, back in early 1988. I’ve never looked back, always grateful for this wonderful opportunity to serve in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. I think the most rewarding aspect of the work I’ve been privileged to do is knowing that it helps others draw closer to God and the things of God, not because of me but because the truth, as Jesus promised, will set us free. As for challenges, to be frank, I really don’t see any. Sure, the work sometimes involves routine inconveniences that come with travelling, but that’s nothing compared to the hardships Saint Paul endured, including beatings, stoning, getting shipwrecked, starved, etc. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). That puts it all into perspective for me. I love what I do and I love that God permits me to do it!

 

Q. As a Catholic apologist, you sometimes participate in debates with those who reject the teachings of the Catholic Church. In your experience, what is the most common argument you hear against Catholic teaching?

I don’t enjoy doing debates, but I have done about a dozen formal, public, debates. The most common arguments raised against Catholic teaching are based on the underlying question of authority, everything from the “Bible alone” (sola Scriptura) argument to the “Science proves that God doesn’t exist” claims, and everything in between. Most arguments against the Catholic Church, I have found, are simply based on misunderstandings of what the Bible and the Church actually teach.

 

Q. In Why Be Catholic? you write that “being Catholic does not require that I fully comprehend every truth God proposes to me.” Could you elaborate on that point?

Well, for example, I don’t fully comprehend what it means to have a soul. I know I have one, I know it’s in my body. I can think, ponder, remember, be self-reflective, self-aware, and love. But how exactly that all happens in me, and how my soul and body work together as a single unit, I don’t fully comprehend. No one does. But we know these things are true even if we can’t understand all their complex realities. That is the nature of truth. It’s not necessary to first understand every single facet of a truth before he will deign to accept it. We all know this from personal experience in our daily lives. These divine mysteries revealed by God are deep and far more profound than the fact that I have a soul. We should never forget that a mystery is not something we can know nothing about, it is something we cannot know everything about.

 

Q. Who should read this book?

I wrote Why Be Catholic? For two particular audiences: the first is the person who is not Catholic, may not know much about the Catholic Church and, heck, may not even like the Catholic Church. I want to take that reader gently by the arm and show him what the stained glass windows look like from the inside, the way they were meant to be seen, with the sunlight streaming through them so that their meaning and beauty can be understood and appreciated. So many non-Catholics see the Catholic Church in a way similar to looking at a stained-glass window from the outside, where their beauty is impossible to perceive. I hope that non-Catholic readers of Why Be Catholic? will experience the adventure and wonder of exploring the Ancient Church in a new way and from a new vantage point.

The second audience, naturally, is Catholics, whether they are firm in their faith or wavering, plagued with many doubts and questions. For them, I pray that Why Be Catholic? will serve as a gentle and comforting reminder that they are in the right place. They are on the Ark and, no matter how turbulent the ride may get or how jostling the conditions on board might be, if they remain, with God’s grace they will make it through the flood.

 

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Patrick Madrid, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@randomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


PRESS RELEASE: LET’S NOT FORGET GOD

Archbishop Reflects on the Long Travail of Religious Freedom

“For anyone concerned with religion and the common good, Let’s Not Forget God by Cardinal Angelo Scola is a must-read.”– John L. Allen, Jr., associate editor of The Boston Globe and author of The Global War on Christians

What does one of the most influential leaders of the Catholic Church have to say about the subject of religious freedom?

In Let’s Not Forget God (Image, June 3, 2014), Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, tackles this very important issue and reflects on how it has affected all aspects of common life, from religion to politics and economics.

Born out of a speech celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, Let’s Not Forget God demonstrates how these centuries-old debates have contributed to the development of Western societies from the Roman Empire in 313 to the American Revolution in 1776.

“Simply reviewing the major events of the seventeen centuries between the Edict of Milan and the present day should allow one to grasp the grave contradictions connected to the practice, and even to the conception, of religious freedom,” Scola writes.

In Let’s Not Forget God, Scola relates theology to everyday life, giving attention to how religious freedom has affected the development of democracy in Western societies and specifically addresses the historical view of religious freedom in the United States in light of the contemporary case of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.

“In the project of elaborating a new vision of religious freedom, Americans will be interested to know, Scola believes our legal and philosophical tradition is better positioned to lead the way than Europe’s,” notes John L. Allen, Jr., associate editor of The Boston Globe and author of The Global War on Christians, in the forward to Let’s Not Forget God.

“Scola continues to be among the most interesting and influential churchmen on the global stage,” writes Allen. “What this short book offers, therefore, is insight into how a true Catholic heavyweight approaches the Church’s most consequential political concern today, which is religious freedom.”

The story behind the book:

“This book came about through the preparation of the speech that for many years the archbishop of Milan has addressed to the city on the occasion of the feast of Saint Ambrose. The idea of this annual speech dates back to the deceased cardinal archbishop of Milan Blessed Ildefonso Schuster, but it began to take on greater importance with Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini (archbishop of Milan and later Pope Paul VI) and in a particular way with Cardinal Giovanni Colombo. Why a speech from the bishop of Milan on this occasion? The reason is clear. Saint Am- brose is the city’s patron. Before being elected bishop of Milan he was a statesman, and he maintained this sensibility as a bishop, while obviously reshaping it to fit his new responsibilities as pastor. On the occasion of his feast and in light of his legacy, the bishop of Milan offers to all citizens a few reflections of a general nature on aspects of public life. The theme for my presentation in the Basilica of Saint Ambrose during vespers on December 6, 2012, was, in a certain sense, compulsory. This year marks the celebration of the 1,700-year anniversary of the Edict of Milan. However one may wish to interpret the edict, it is beyond doubt that 2013 provides a special opportunity for exploring the topic of religious freedom. Its relevance is plain. Just as evident is its complexity.” – Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan

About the Author

ANGELO SCOLA is a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, a philosopher, and a theologian. He was appointed Archbishop of Milan, Italy, by Pope Benedict XVI on June 28, 2011. Previously, he served as Patriarch of Venice and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003.

To request a review copy, contact Katie Moore, publicist, at kamoore@randomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.

 



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