Review: All the Beautiful Things: Finding Truth, Beauty and Goodness in a Fractured Church

All the Beautiful Things: Finding Truth, Beauty and Goodness in a Fractured ChurchAll the Beautiful Things: Finding Truth, Beauty and Goodness in a Fractured Church by Beth Doherty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an intensely personal reflection on the nature of the Catholic Church in Australia as experienced by the author. Given all of her particular experiences and the results of a survey of family and friends, Beth Doherty writes passionately about a Church that she continues to love even as it occasionally causes her frustration and anger.

Much of what Doherty writes I can easily identify with. However, there are some parts that I cannot if only because my experiences of Church, my understanding of the way things are, are different to hers. Such should be no surprise given the very nature of the Church, an age difference, and the reality that I have been in a different role and place within the Church for the last fifteen years of my life. However, none of those differences diminishes the power of Doherty’s own experiences and how they are expressed in this book.

My only ‘criticism’ – and it has more to do with me than anything else, I suspect – is that I found some parts of the book difficult to grasp from the perspective of style and flow. These passages took me a little longer to grasp and comprehend than other parts, though they ultimately did not distract from the power of what was written.

Anyone who has even the slightest amount of care and concern for the Australian Church in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would do well to read this book.

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