Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 74(2) May 2024

Book Review

The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful:
A history in Three Dimensions.

By Joseph Pearce, Ignatius Press

Reviewed by Dr PravinThevasathan

Book Cover - Good, Bad, BeutifulAccording to the secular media, the history of the Church has to do with the Crusades, the Inquisition and Galileo. Non-Catholic historians like Rodney Stark and Tom Holland beg to differ but they are widely ignored.

And now we have the always excellent Joseph Pearce giving us an overview of Catholic history. Each century is examined and we find the good, the bad and the beautiful in each of them. If we examine the thirteenth century, it was a good century for the Church. There was St Francis and St Dominic. There were glorious works of art, architecture and poetry. And there was the great work of Thomas Aquinas. And yet it was also a century when some of the Crusaders behaved despicably and were immediately condemned by the pope.

The twentieth century may be seen as the century of decline for the Church. And yet there were great figures like Cardinals Mindszenty, Wyszynski, and Stepinac. Pope Pius XII has been condemned for his inaction against the Nazis. In just one paragraph, Pearce shows us how wrong this opinion is. Pearce also examines the great contributions of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

This is a very good overview of the history of the Catholic Church. It is hardly surprising, given that the author writes from a fully believing Catholic perspective, that Christ is at the centre of this work.