After the Boston Heresy Case
To go after something is to inquire into it, to be in search of it, to seek the truth about it. In this book, veteran Catholic journalist Gary Potter goes after the truth concerning one of last century’s principal religious controversies, the so-called Boston Heresy Case, and its chief figure, Rev. Leonard Feeney, S.J.
The most famous Jesuit of his day, Fr. Feeney broadcast on the radio, his books were best sellers, his poetry was mandatory reading in parochial schools. Suddenly, newspapers throughout the country were reporting that he was charged with heresy, expelled from the ranks of the Jesuits, and even “excommunicated.” Now his verse was removed from textbooks and Catholics were forbidden by high Church authorities to have any association with him. Scores of young men and women, students of Saint Benedict Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, defied the ban. On Sunday afternoons, they accompanied the famed cleric to Boston Common, the public park where he took to preaching when he was denied a pulpit. Leading magazines labeled him the “hate priest” on account of his preaching.
Did he hate? Was he excommunicated? Was it because he preached that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation? Gary Potter sorts the facts from the myths and the result is more than the true story of Fr. Leonard Feeney and the “Boston Heresy Case.” As Fr. Dennis P. Smith describes it in his Preface to the book: “In an era when our Catholic people and prospective converts are being force-fed on a starvation diet of watered-down doctrine and junk-food liturgy, Gary Potter has provided a banquet for the heart and soul."
Gary Potter is a native of California. After attending public schools, a professional theater academy, and college, he spent two years sailing in the Merchant Marine and another four living in France, where he discovered the Faith. Following baptism into the Church and time working in advertising in New York, he began his career in Catholic journalism in 1966 as a founding editor of the legendary Triumph magazine. Besides Triumph and two publications of which he later was editor, Truth & Justice and CCPA News & Views (the publication of Catholics for Christian Political Action), articles by him have appeared in National Review, Human Events, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The National Catholic Register, Faith & Reason, The Wanderer, The Remnant, The Angelus, From the Housetops, and numerous other publications. Mr. Potter lives with his wife, Virginia, in Washington, D.C.
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