Renowned pro-life leader Judie Brown was appointed twice by Pope John Paul II and again by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Academy for Life. In her bold new book, The Broken Path, Brown addresses both the political intrigue in the hierarchy of America’s Catholic Church and the challenges faced by modern Catholics in this great nation. In today’s commentary, Judie explains why she felt called to write The Broken Path.
Ever since Saving Those Damned Catholics was completed four years ago, I have felt that a follow-up effort was needed. My motivation to finally put pen to paper came after doing a lot of research, spending one year praying, and finally recognizing the validity of my sincere desire to help my fellow Catholics see how each of us can be a force for the greater glory of God. I realized that each of us can have a positive effect and thus effect change if we understand what is at stake.
As I wrote in the introduction, “As shepherds serving in direct lineage with Christ’s first apostles, the Catholic bishops have a solemn responsibility to feed their people the spiritual nourishment necessary for the flock to grow in its love of Christ, to teach people to grow in devotion to biblical truth, and to teach a respect for the traditions and magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. In other words, even now in the twenty-first century, it is not idealistic to point out that the primary and singularly exclusive role of Catholic bishops and, by extension, their ordained priests and deacons, is to strengthen Catholic people in their faith by setting the example in their words and their deeds.”
This is a fact of Catholic life, and it inspired me to begin collecting the research, talking to priests and bishops, and striving to arrive at a point where I thought something in black and white would serve the Church in a positive way. It is my belief that The Broken Path will make a tiny contribution in that direction.
During the writing process something else occurred to me. When anyone who is responsible and aware of a problem chooses to ignore it or otherwise walk away from it, he or she becomes part of it. The alternative is to confront it, attempt to understand it, explain it, and work with others to correct it if at all possible. This is how I came to decide that, not only did we need a book that exposed the underbelly of Catholic lethargy, but we needed recommendations for turning apathy into zeal for Christ and His Church.
There are, in the pro-life vineyard, myriad challenges confronting us daily. It is always a good idea to view each of them as an opportunity to change the status quo. Whether we are working on combating the contraceptive mentality, the public perception of the human person and his dignity as a matter of personal choice, or the practice of homosexuality, the common thread that ties it all together and helps us change it is Christ, His Church, and His truth.
Our struggle is not about politics or public policy; it is about the gift of the human person and his eternal destiny. It is my hope that The Broken Path sheds light on the darkness that often conceals the joy and the triumph inherent in winning souls for Christ.
The Broken Path is now available at www.brokenpathbook.com. Thousands of copies have already been sold and the response has been universally enthusiastic! The Broken Path is a work of love for the Church: a must read for every Catholic with the desire to return our nation to a righteous path and our society to a culture of life.