Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build—and Can Help Rebuild—Western Civilization (Hardcover)
"Every chancellery in Europe, every court in Europe, was ruled by these learned, trained and accomplished men the priesthood of that great and dominant body."
— President Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom
With stubborn facts historians have given their verdict: from the cultures of the Jews, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Germanic peoples, the Catholic Church built a new and original civilization, embodying within its structures the Christian vision of God and man, time and eternity.
The construction and maintenance of Western civilization, amid attrition and cultural earthquakes, is a saga spread over sixteen hundred years. During this period, Catholic priests, because they numbered so many men of heroism and genius in their ranks, and also due to their leadership positions, became the pioneers and irreplaceable builders of Christian culture and sociopolitical order.
Heroism and Genius presents some of these formidable men: fathers of chivalry and free-enterprise economics; statesmen and defiers of tyrants; composers, educators, and architects of some of the world's loveliest buildings; and, paradoxically, revolutionary defenders of romantic love.
William J. Slattery, Ph.D., S.T.L., was ordained to the priesthood by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Basilica in 1991. He has given Ignatian retreats in English and French in North America and has written a work on the formation of priests, soon to be published, while residing at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.