Rorate Caeli

New Book by Dr Joseph Shaw: An Irrefutable Apologia for the Traditional Liturgy

In a time like ours, when ignorance, half-truths, and outright lies seem to dominate the airwaves, classrooms, halls of power, and even church pulpits, Catholics need access to the unvarnished truth of the Faith as it powerfully confronts the errors and misdirections of the modern age. But where are we to find such help?

Dr. Joseph Shaw, president of the International Federation Una Voce and Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales, has distinguished himself as one of the finest writers today on a host of difficult and controversial questions. Os Justi Press is pleased to announce the release of Dr. Shaw's latest book: The Liturgy, the Family, and the Crisis of Modernity.

The book divides into three parts, as suggested by the title.

The first part examines the place of the ancient Catholic liturgy in modernity, defending it, against the misunderstandings of modernists, as something supremely suited to engage our deepest instincts towards the worship of God. Chapter 1 tells what Shaw discovered about the Church along the path of discovering the ancient Roman rite; chapter 2 looks at the purpose of liturgy; chapter 3 gives an account of the history of liturgy, explaining how it is conceptually and practically possible for a heritage to be both received as a "changeless given" and also enhanced and developed over time; chapter 4 develops the role of Latin in fostering participation (yes, you read that correctly!); and chapters 5 and 6 delve into the ways in which rituality, contrary to a standard narrative, is a cause of freedom rather than of confinement.

The second part turns to the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council and addresses a series of lines of attack on those Catholics attached to the traditional Latin Mass—notably the attempt to link them to the crisis of clerical abuse. Here Dr. Shaw fearlessly probes what Vatican II actually accomplished "on the ground"; the intimate link between orthodoxy in doctrine and tradition in liturgy (and the contrary); true and false notions of diversity; the Freudian origins of the discourse about the "rigidity" of conservatives or backwardists; the need to assess rightly the meaning of "clericalism" and how it relates to abuse; and the damage done by means of so-called "sex education," which has been allowed to take over unresisted by the postconciliar hierarchy.

In the third part Dr. Shaw addresses one of the most contested issues of our times, sexuality and gender roles, and asks what, if anything, the Church can still say about them. Partly agreeing with and partly correcting the theory of Leon Podles, Shaw explains the sense in which there has been a "feminization" of Christianity -- yet one that was to a large extent resisted in the Catholic Church by a patriarchal theology, liturgy, and structures until after the Council. He offers what is certainly one of the best expositions of male headship, natural and supernatural, in any available literature, and offers a powerful critique of the sexual revolution as a betrayal of women. Lastly, he looks at the family as the locus of culture and transmission of the faith, especially in an era when the hierarchy have largely abandoned both.

Your gut feeling that something has gone badly wrong in the Catholic Church is, in fact, correct; your intuition that it has something to do with our divine worship is right on target; your instinct that the response must come from deep within the family and deep within our bimillenial tradition is entirely accurate. Dr. Shaw's book explains just how all this is true; how we ought to evaluate the secularizing path the Church has trodden in recent decades; and what we, who wish to live the Faith, can do, here and now, to restore a healthy and sacred culture.

The Liturgy, the Family, and the Crisis of Modernity is available either directly from Os Justi Press (shipping within the USA) or from any Amazon outlet around the world.

Here is a video about this book:

"Shaw doesn’t propose that we turn back the clock, but reveals a path ahead out of the current crisis through a mature dialectic with those modern ecclesiastical developments that allow for a recovery of the tradition that belongs to all Catholics by a claim of right."—Dr Sebastian Morello, European Conservative

"I commend it very enthusiastically."—Fr John Hunwicke, Mutual Enrichment Blog

"With this book, Joseph Shaw provides Traditionalist Catholics with an antidote to such madness when dealing with our own deepest concerns, showing how the problems of the liturgy, the family, and the crises brought about by Modernity's Original Sins must be tackled as a unit, and with respect for historical mistakes."—Dr John Rao, Roman Forum

"For after all these years, it is rare to find something as fresh, as thought-provoking, as original as the exploration of the crisis in these pages—one that marries acute, up-to-the-minute observation of unfolding secular trends with a striking inquest into the deep, underlying reasons for these trends (or rather tragedies)."—Roger Buck, author of The Gentle Traditionalist

"These essays are marked not only by clarity of style and breadth of knowledge, but also by something even more welcome: fresh thinking."—Fr Thomas Crean, author of The Mass and the Saints

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N.B. For readers in the United Kingdom:

There will be an official book launch with a talk by the author, refreshments, and a chance to buy the book at a reduced price, on Thursday, March 9, at 6:30 pm, in St Wilfrid's Hall, London Oratory.