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May 23, 2007


deacon john m. bresnahan

How can a book which has sold 1.5 million copies only be #20 on Amazon?? Where is it on the NY Times hit parade??

Fr. Brian Stanley

Ten of those 1.5 million copies of "Jesus of Nazareth" are mine: I'm giving a copy to each member of our grade school faculty.


It's only #20 on Amazon because it is based on HOURLY sales. Numbers 2 thru 19 are probably mere flukes based on large but infrequent orders. Pre-orders of Harry Potter at #1 is probably right. Check back tomorrow though to see if those other books are still on there. I doubt most of them will be.

William Templeton

The comments at the Amazon site by FR. JOSEPH O'LEARY, SJ are truly disturbing.

I would seriously advise people to look closely at his comments there and elsewhere if they are going to listen to his statements on the pope's book. They are full of venom and anti-Catholicism. Nobody should mistake him for a neutral observer. I can't quite believe he is a Catholic priest in good standing.

He also comments frequently at Commonweal's site, where he is warmly received.


Samuel J. Howard

Ah... Fr. O'Leary, who sometimes goes by, I kid you not, the name "Spirit of Vatican II".

His complete review of the Pope's book is on his blog: http://tinyurl.com/2z3mba

Plus a primer and hub of Fr. O'Leary criticism here: http://tinyurl.com/29nfwh

Mark Andrews

Joe O'Leary has frequented quite a number of Anglican and Catholic blogs, including Titusonenine, Pontifications and Sacramentum Vitae, to name a few. O'Leary also has his own blog, where one can read his adventures in post-modern, French deconstructionism, and ruminations on the "slippery nature of truth statements in discourse." He's completely bought into the notion that truth is laid bare through dialectic, but can never reliably be known.

Moving from epistemology to theology, Fr. O'Leary tends to tie all conversation back two threads: that the Catholic Church's problems stem from its fear of modernity in general, and fear of gays in particular. It's almost as if O'Leary says to the Church "Come on...you know you want it, why resist?"

Beats me how that guy has a teaching job at Sophia University in Japan or faculties as a priest. His community is either asleep at the switch or, worse yet, agrees with him.

Roamin' Roman

Speaking of the Pope's book (and books in general), just wanted to point out a great new Thing in town for all us Catholic bloggin' booklovers! It's the LibraryThing, a great way to keep track of our library (you can catalog 200 books free too). A few of the Catholic bloggers have picked up on it in the last couple of days. If you are a Catholic blogger on the Thing, join our group and see what your fellow bloggers are reading - join "St. Blog's Parish Community"

(FYI, according to the Thing's statistics, only 46 other Thing-ers have the Pope's new book -- come on people, let's get that number up! For comparison, over 13,000 Thing-ers own the DaVinci Code, and almost 17,000 own the first Harry Potter book...)



You're right about O'Leary. He's got a special hatred for the Pope (based on who knows what) and the fact that the Commonweal bloggers have received him warmly should tell you all you need to know about them.


Fr. O'Leary, aka "Spirit of Vatican II", is an old acquaintance of ours, here in St. Blog's. The sad thing is, he's very representative of a certain age group and opinion.

But mostly, he's a priest badly needing our prayers. It's very hard to change late in life, but with God's help, all things are possible.


Re: Roamin' Roman

I've been on LibraryThing for a little over a year, and I'll concur that it's a really wonderful site for book lovers. Even our very own Amy Welborn is a member, though her cataloging effort stalled last fall and never resumed.

I didn't know about the St. Blog's group, and I'll join up post-haste.

Heather Price

Hey, there's another guy commenting on the Pope's book who likes Benedict XVI. I'll admit I'm not sure how much of the book he's read yet, but I could ask him at dinner. :)
(Any support over there at the boards would be great.)


"Check back tomorrow though to see if those other books are still on there. I doubt most of them will be."

Most of the books ranked 1-19 are relatively stable -- most disturbing is that the "God is Poison" book is consistently in the top 10 on Amazon, and is on the NY Bestseller list.

Kevin P. Edgecomb

In the same forum post mentioning the 1.5 million sales of the book in all languages is the intriguing note of a "postface" (to the Greek edition) written by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (my patriarch). I'm going to have to get a hold of that!

It's a fantastic book, absolutely necessary. I've posted a few comments on it already, in response to one atrocious review.

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