Double Catholicism whammy: Part 1.
17 March 2009
My suggestion, if you are a Catholic and have some doubts about the faith, would be to not read the books The Secret Scripture (a novel), by Sebastian Barry, and Waiting for the Apocalypse (a memoir), by Veronica Chater, simultaneously. It's not that they're bad books. One at a time would be fine. They're both quite interesting, actually. But the Catholic Church doesn't really appear to its best advantage in either.
In the former, Irish author Barry tells the story of Roseanne McNulty, a woman over one hundred years of age, who is living in a psychiatric hospital that is about to be closed down. It's a twice-told story; Roseanne is writing down her version of events, while the doctor evaluating her is writing down what he knows of her from medical records, past reports, and her conversation. Roseanne, who lived in Ireland during the time of "the Troubles," has not had an easy life, and suffered from living during a time when being seen alone with a man who was not her husband got her branded a nymphomaniac (and committed) by the local priest.
It was an interesting book, and it's got a nice little twist at the end. But a real "upper" it was not. Come back tomorrow for part 2 of the double whammy: Chater's memoir. Oh. And happy St. Patrick's Day!