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274 HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW
familiar with the general outUne of the papacy than for the average
man whom the Home University Library intends to reach.
Hbnby B. Washburn.
Episcopal TaxoLoaicxh School, Cambbidoe.
The Vatican: the Center of Government of the Catholic World.
The Rt. Rev. Edmond Canon Hughes de Ragnau. D. Appleton &
Co. 1913. Pp.453. $4.00.
Let no one expect to find in this beautifully printed volume any
satisfactory description of the Vatican. It gives only a brief account,
very much in the style of Italian guide-books. Neither let any
one look for any full and intelligent study of the government of the
Roman Catholic Church as centered in the Vatican. A scrappy
account of the Pope and his office, his chief collaborators and the
Roman Curia, nearly all of which might be compiled from easily
accessible EngUsh sources, occupy, together with a few pages on
the Vatican, less than one-fourth of the book (pp. 1-92). The second
section of the book, comprising more than one-half, begins with a
chapter on the "Organization of the Catholic World" (pp. 97-175),
of some general interest as showing how well the system has been
worked out. This is followed by a rambhng chapter (pp. 176-288)
on the "Politico-Religious History of Cathohcism," a survey of the
relation of the Roman Church to various countries and their gov-
ernments, principally in the nineteenth century. As history this
chapter is at times amusing. The chapter on the "Catholic Faith"
(pp. 299-346) is a fairly clear and well-written statement, not of the
faith of the Church, but of the place of the Church as the guardian
of the faith, illustrated by its dealings with recent dogmatic prob-
lems. The third section of the book is a compilation on Catholicism
and education. Here some interesting and apparently trust-worthy
facts have been collected, in part from sources not accessible in
English. "What the Catholic Church teaches" (pp. 394-433)
gives a list of the various subjects on which instruction should
be given in a Catholic university; but the chapter is stuffed out by
a long irrelevant account (pp. 402-426) of the books of the Bible,
with some quaint but probably ecclesiastically "correct" statements
regarding their dates, authors, and general contents. The book
concludes with a very brief description of the "Spiritual and Prac-
tical Sides of Catholicism," containing among other things a number
of points of Canon Law bearing more directly on private hfe.
BOOK REVIEWS 275
At first sight the reader is at a loss how to characterize such a
book, with its feeble grasp of history, its absurdly distorted per-
spective, and its miscellaneous collection of material compiled chiefly
from iudiflferent manuals. He ought, however, not to quarrel with
the book until he is quite sure of the author's real purpose. In spite
of the title, that purpose, one can well believe, is not to give an
account of the "Vatican: the Center of Government of the Catholic
World." The Vatican is for the author but a symbol. His real
purpose must have been to produce a work of edification, based upon
a contemplation of the Church as a divine system of world-wide
activity. Everywhere, accordingly, the Roman Church is shown
as always the leader of every form of spiritual progress, religious,
moral, and intellectual, as subject to persecution by the powers of
evil yet constantly triumphant, as traduced by Protestants and
other unbelievers yet forcing its enemies to admit its claims. By
its devotion, its faith, its all-embracing programme, by its very num-
bers, it is made to impress the devout soul. This is, doubtless, a
worthy end. Possibly, in attaining it, "omissions," "exaggerated
effects," and "suppressions" — ^faults the author finds in non-Cath-
olic works on history — are necessary and to be tolerated by the
faithful for the sake of the edification. The Church and its work
are objects of faith and not merely of sight. Many of the hard
realities of this present world with its intractable history may be
overlooked in the more brilliant vision.
Unfortunately for the author and his purpose of edification, his
literary ability is very limited, and his unctuous style, reminiscent
of second-rate French devotional works, fails to transmute a crude
compilation into a satisfactory picture. The unconscionable pad-
ding betrays the amateur and makes the book burdensome to read.
The author's grasp of the situation is so feeble that he often misses
making a good point. The book contains much many Protestants
might well take to heart, but it is so mixed with false, inaccurate,
and distorted statements that it will often repel where it might well
attract. It stands in the way of a much better book which almost
any man with scholarly instincts but as great loyalty to the Roman
Church and devotion to its aims, could produce, provided he had
a fair amount of literary taste and skill and more knowledge of
actual religious conditions than is allowed to filter through "la
bonne presse," the tone of which is admirably reproduced in this
Joseph Cullen Ater, Jr.
Phiiadblphia Divinity Schooi,.