AD2000 - a journal of religious opinionAD Books
Ask a Question
View Cart
Search AD2000: author: full text:  
AD2000 - a journal of religious opinion
Find a Book:

AD2000 Home
Article Index
About AD2000
Contact Us
Email Updates


Add Me
Remove Me

Subscriber Access:

Enter the Internet Access Key from your mailing label here for full access!


OUR GLORIOUS POPES, by Catherine Goddard Clarke

Bookmark and Share

 Contents - Jun 2012AD2000 June 2012 - Buy a copy now
Society: Cardinal George Pell: Science and religion can coexist - Cardinal George Pell
Secularism: Same-sex 'marriage' is an attack on parents' rights and religious freedom - Patrick Byrne
News: The Church Around the World
NET Ministries: Another Catholic youth ministry success story - Br Barry Coldrey
Women Religious: Vatican takes action against dissenting US nuns - Babette Francis
Christendom: Hungary's new constitution a rebuke to secular Europe - Edward Pentin
Faith and Reason: Cardinal Pell debates Richard Dawkins on Q&A: a commentary - Frank Mobbs
Australian student campaigns for US college's Catholic identity - David Walsh
American priest's work for the protection of life in Russia - Eva-Maria Kolman
Latin: Pope John XXIII's document on Latin: 50th anniversary - Salvatore Cernuzio
Remembering the Catholic priests on board the 'Titanic' - AD2000 Report
Books: ABOUT BIOETHICS: Philosophical and Theological Approaches - Angela Schumann (reviewer)
Books: DEFEND THE FAITH, by Robert M. Haddad - Jennifer Nowell (reviewer)
Books: OUR GLORIOUS POPES, by Catherine Goddard Clarke - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE, by Peter Kreeft - Arthur Ballingall (reviewer)
Poetry: Simon of Cyrene - Bruce Dawe
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Benedict XVI: Pentecost and the Church's universality - Pope Benedict XVI

by Catherine Goddard Clarke
(MICM, 1955, Reprinted Loreto Publications, 2000, ISBN: 978-1-93027-802, 259pp, $25.90. Available from Freedom Publishing)

As a schoolboy, studying European history at a non-Catholic school, I recall reading about a number of egregious popes, some of whom vied with each other for depravity. Glossed over were those worthy of veneration.

Our Glorious Popes examines the reigns of reputable popes. First published in 1955, the author Sister Catherine Clarke has a particular focus on those who reigned during difficult times in the Church's history. Many of them were courageous, often when confronted by hostile elements that sought to limit the Church's influence.

Thus, there were popes such as Leo the Great, who went out to meet with Attila the Hun, thereby preventing him from sacking Rome, and Pius IX, who in the 19th century opposed various liberal elements and became the "prisoner in the Vatican", as a result of the loss of the Papal States. The most recent pope discussed is Pius X.

Because of the writer's focus, some of the Popes included are controversial, such as Boniface VIII, the promulgator of Unam Sanctam (1302), the bull which stated, inter alia, that "outside the Church, there is no salvation." It is also refreshing to learn about the careers of Popes that are largely unknown, such as Saints Zachary and Leo III.

This work makes for interesting and informative reading. However, it is essentially a work of hagiography, and as such, does not have the critical perspective of an historian such as Eamon Duffy, the author of Saints and Sinners: a History of the Popes. This should be borne in mind when reading this work.

Michael Daniel teaches at a Melbourne secondary school.

Bookmark and Share

Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 25 No 5 (June 2012), p. 17

Page design and automation by
Umbria Associates Pty Ltd © 2001-2004