The Deplorable Fictions of Andrew


The Deplorable Fictions of Andrew Greeley

I very ill-advisedly agreed to read an Andrew Greeley book in a Catholic Book Group that I attend. I struggled and toiled and made it through all of fifty pages of a cliche-filled sex-drenched, tawdry, semi-family-epic entitled Thy Brother's Wife. Those who really enjoy Father Greeley's work, need continue no further as the following analysis is unlikely to be gentle on the work of this particular wordsmith.

I was appalled by the storyline which very early on introduced the idea that one of two brothers was going to marry a woman who had been brought up in the same house as a sister. If this isn't awful enough, the patriarch of this happy little group has determined that one of his sons will be a Senator and the other a Priest. Excuse me, how do you presume to determine that your son will become a priest? Isn't that kind of up to God? I mean, you can and should encourage any thought of vocation on the part of your children, but to dictate that they shall be a priest or religious is presumptuous in a nearly blasphemous way.

Those story points only begin the atrocities of this epic of bad writing. Every woman is gorgeous, every man virile, every encounter passionate, blah, blah, blah. I gather from the books that Father Greeley is probably not in what we might refer to as the Orthodox school of Catholicism (I know little to nothing of his opinions outside of this book and one ancient sociological study of the Church). Even given that, is an appropriate pastoral example for a priest to be writing books of this sort? What sort of message does this give the world of Catholicism? I would venture to guess that Father Greeley does for Catholicism what Bishop Spong does for Episcopalianism (I know I'm vastly overstating the case, but I think you understand my meaning). Why does he continue to do this? Why doesn't someone point out to him the image he is making of the church? Why aren't diocesan priests required to take a vow of poverty as with Religious Priests so that they will not be tempted to write long chains of awful, inflammatory best sellers? (That last wasn't a serious question--but I do say I have to wonder how much money Fr. Greeley has and whether it is entirely right for a priest to have that much money)

Anyway, just some thoughts after not successfully finishing one of the worst reads I've been subjected to in some time.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 26, 2002 5:43 PM.

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