Cardinal James Gibbons’ famous and eloquent defense of Catholicism stands as one of the finest religious documents of his era, explaining the basic tenets of the Catholic Faith and why we hold them. Gibbons delves into the historical background of virtually everything people find hard to understand about Catholicism, such as priestly celibacy, sacred images, the Church and the Bible, the primacy of Peter, Communion under one kind, invocation of the Saints, etc. First published in 1876, when there was much anti-Catholic sentiment in the U.S., it sold 1.4 million copies in 40 years and has been reprinted many times since.
Seeking to remind readers of the vitality and merits of Catholicism, Gibbons both clarifies the principles of the faith and spurns unjust criticisms. Much of the text is richly imbued with quotes from Scripture, which Gibbons uses to reinforce his points, 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.
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.