Cardinal James Gibbons' famous and eloquent defense of Catholicism stands as one of the finest religious documents of his era, employing the Bible and devotional wisdom much more than arcane or complex theology.
Writing in the 19th century, Cardinal Gibbons was moved to author this book after working for years in the priesthood. Seeking to remind readers of the vitality and merits of Catholicism, Gibbons attempts to both clarify the principles of the faith and spurn unjust criticisms.
Religious concepts such as The Holy Trinity, and the important relationship the Bible has to the life of the church is investigated. The festivals and ritual sacraments that Catholics undertake, such as the taking of bread and wine to symbolize the flesh and the blood of Christ, are described in detail for their founding principles. Other traits of Catholicism, such as celibacy among the priesthood and the customs of matrimony, are explained.
Much of the text is richly imbued with quotes from scripture, which Gibbons uses to reinforce his points. Overall, the text offers a wide-ranging and competent introduction to Catholicism, mindfully wedding the faith's principles to the founding truths of the Bible. God's word, whether represented visually by church art or vocally by a congregation's priest, rings true from this distinctive and flowing book.
As well as being a passionate bishop and priest, Cardinal Gibbons notably favored fairer labor laws. Catholic immigrants in the late 19th century found themselves the victims of ruthless exploitation. Gibbons - among other ranking members in the church - found such practices contrary to the spirit of liberty as espoused by both the United States as a nation, and the Catholic church as a spiritual body.
This reprint of The Faith of Our Fathers is based off the final edition published in the lifetime of the author, in 1917. The eleventh edition builds on the arguments, with clarifications and slight corrections made to the original text.