home page links quotes statistics mission statement success stories resources Lighter Side Authors! Search Page
Posted December 9, 2012

Book: At Your Fingertips: From the Council of Trent to Post-Vatican II Vol. 5
Author: Msgr. Laurence J. Spiteri
St. Pauls. Staten Island, NY. 2012. pp. 216

An Excerpt from the Book:

The fifth and last volume of the series entitled At Your Fingertips gives a summary of the history of the Catholic Church from the time of the Council of Trent (1564) to the time following the Second Vatican Council (1965). The reader will, therefore, find, along with historical events, the teachings of the Church and the faith-filled activities of the Church’s faithful members, clergy and laity alike. The historical period being covered in this volume is a tapestry embroidered with joys and sorrows; triumphs and defeats; elations and disappointments; successes and failures; struggles and accomplishments; treaties; devastation of people and the successive re-mapping of nations; epidemics and famines; challenges to the very existence of the Church social teaching versus Socialism, Communism, Nazism and Fascism, etc. Yet, throughout all of these events there is the permanent presence of the Founder of the Catholic Church, our Lord Jesus Christ and her Guide and Protector, the Holy Spirit.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Leo XIII will be best remembered for his outstanding encyclicals and unabashed defence of the rights of working classes. As Cardinal Pecci, he began writing on the role of the Church in his contemporary society. He presented the Church as upholding the human dignity of the working class and opposing excessive industrialization for it oppressed poor workers. As Pope, he denounced social inequity and injustice in his landmark 1991 encyclical Rerum Novarum, taking the side of the working classes. In it he criticized the concentration of wealth and power; denounced the abuse of laborers and insisted that they be granted certain rights and safety regulations; commended labor unions; defended private property; condemned socialism and class struggle as legitimate principles to bring about change; and encouraged Catholics to join or form labor unions which were devoid of secular and revolutionary ideologies. Subsequent Popes would recall this ground-breaking encyclical and issue their own encyclicals and speeches rooted in it. Furthermore, Catholic social teaching, in turn, influenced political movements and Christian Democracy movements in many contemporary European countries.

Table of Contents:

The Council of Trent and its immediate aftermath

Bring the Good News to all the world

Grave tragedy -- man enslaving other men

Crowns clash -- the quest for political supremacy

Popes and fading empires

The Church at the hands of the French Revolution

Popes and rulers of a new Italy

Vatican Council I


A new mentality in missionary activity

The Church and social issues

Religious liberties

Vatican Council II

List of Popes from Council of Trent to the present day