Published by Trans Über LLC on 2013-10
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Dr. Joe Wenke, disciple of such brilliant and provocative social critics as Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher and George Carlin, has taken on the Catholic Church with PAPAL BULL: An Ex-Catholic Calls Out the Catholic Church. Wenke bares the scars of his Catholic childhood and exposes the bizarre, absurd and downright frightening skeletons lingering in the Vatican closet. Following in the same hilarious, intellectual vein as YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING! A Radical Satire of the Bible, Wenke confronts the epic hypocrisy of the Catholic Church in a no-holds-barred examination of its history, practices and beliefs. Equal parts revelation, inquisition and humor, PAPAL BULL will make you rethink what you thought you knew about the Catholic Church.
My problem with this book is not that I find the content offensive, it’s how poorly it’s executed. The author speaks about how he wrote this book over a short period of time, almost as if in a trance, and henceforth published without changing hardly a word. Well, maybe some editing would have made for a better book.
The author is obviously smart and quirky and has a lot of anger towards the Catholic Church – a lot of anger that I believe is justified. Unfortunately it’s executed like a 200 page Buzzfeed list rather than a well structured humorous book that has legitimate beef with a institution steeped in hypocrisy. I know this isn’t an academic book, but references are ALWAYS nice, especially when you’re arguing explosive things like religion and politics.
There are parts of this book that are extraordinarily poignant and witty. My favorite part is the comparison between the famous Potter Stewart line on pornography being hard to define but “I know it when I see it.” and using it to compare it to exorcists knowing demonic possession when the see it.
This book could be great, but instead it’s too hastily put together to make much sense. All that being said, I do have an interest in reading his first book You’ve Got to Be Kidding.