Book Reviews

Book Review: Life is not a long quiet river


This compact volume is really several different books compressed into one.  It is a self-searching autobiography, reviewing a lifetime of rich and varied achievement.   It is a portrait of the ordained priesthood in the generation following Vatican II.  It is a revelation of the immense worldwide reach of the Roman Catholic Church.  And it is a testimony to the significance of Jesus of Nazareth to the person who would live a meaningful life. Continue reading

Book Review: Jane Haining, A Life of Love and Courage


Scottish state primary schools in the 1970s were not the melting pots of diversity they are now.  They largely reflected the Presbyterian assumptions that had existed since John Knox established the principle of 'a school in every parish' and preserved a sense of cultural and 'religious' priority.  That included six-year-olds being encouraged to venerate David Livingstone and Mary Slessor. They were selfless, well educated, of humble background; brave, God fearing, and, consistent with all of these, spawned and shaped by the Church of Scotland. They were our people. Continue reading

Book Review: Mass Exodus: Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain and America since Vatican II


Bullivant’s narrative of numerical decline in the Catholic Church since Vatican II is complex and nuanced.  By no means a traditionalist diatribe against all that went wrong in the Church in the 1960s, it deserves to be read by anyone concerned about the future of the Church in Britain and America, and beyond.  The author is a sociologist of religion and he knows his stuff.  He prefers the term ‘disaffiliation’ to ‘lapsation’, as disaffiliates may include the lapsed, who retain some sense of belonging in many cases, but also includes those who have not just lapsed but have joined other churches or become ‘nones’, with no religious affiliation at all.  Disaffiliation casts a wider net. Continue reading
Feb/Mar 2020

In June 2019 Open House held a conference exploring possible new directions for the Catholic Church in Scotland. See conference papers.

Open House also held a conference on the role of lay people in the governance of the Catholic Church in November 2013. See conference papers.