Catholic Answers Press

Light From Darkness: Nine Times the Church was in Turmoil, and Came Out Stronger Than Before

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Ask Catholics about the crisis in the Church today and you’ll often get one of two responses: The end is upon us! or Everything’s fine—the Holy Spirit is in charge!

Neither of those attitudes makes sense from the perspective of history, says Steve Weidenkopf (The Real Story of Catholic History).  

In his new book, Light from Darkness, Weidenkopf shows how the Church’s past ages were no less tumultuous than our own. Yet, whether it was decadent hierarchs selling out the Faith for pleasure and power, or hostile princes, heresies, or ideologies (sometimes all three at once) menacing Christendom, the Catholic Church not only persisted during hard times but came through them stronger than before.

In each case, though, Weidenkopf demonstrates how the Church’s survival was not an accident or a last-minute miracle. Instead, good Catholics (lay and clergy alike) cooperated with God’s grace to beat back error and corruption and reform the house of God from within. They resisted the twin temptations of cynical schism and Pollyanna passivism and went to work—first in their own hearts—bringing good out of evil, light from darkness.  

These nine inspiring stories of crisis and reform should give all Catholics today reason for hope—and a model to follow as we deal with the trials that God has permitted in our own time.

"History gives us every reason to hope, because our God is the Lord of History. This book is the case for confidence. In its pages we see the pattern of salvation in every age. The Church and the faith have outlived many persecutors, many enemies within, and many ‘invincible’ empires. The future looks brighter the more we look back. To be deep in history is to be deep in hope." - Mike Aquilina, Executive vice-president, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

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Additional Information

Steve Weidenkopf
Softcover, 322 pages
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6 Reviews

  • 5
    Concise yet thorough.

    Posted by Dcn. Frank Mercardante on Feb 26th 2024

    Another great read by Weidenkopf.

  • 5
    Light from Darkness

    Posted by Sandy on Feb 20th 2024

    In these very dark times in the Church, "Light from Darkness: Nine Times the Church Was in Turmoil and Came Out Stronger Than Before" uplifted me and gave me great hope! I used to think that the Church has never been through times as bad as now, but I see now that is not true. The info in this book even prompted me to look for the ways the Church is becoming stronger already from the confusion being caused by some current high level Church leaders. If you need a shot in the arm about Catholicism in 2024, Church history will provide it, and Steve Weidenkopf presents that history very well. I highly recommend this book!

  • 5

    Posted by Mark Fiedeldey on Oct 24th 2021

    As always, Steve's books are exceedingly well researched and well written. Good or bad, history is history and Steve tells it like it is. No candy coating. Thanks for another excellent book!

  • 4
    Light from Darkness

    Posted by Marilyn Schepansky on Oct 4th 2021

    Although I haven't read the book yet, it looks to be a winner! The book came in good time also. Thanks.

  • 5
    Marvelous! As an elderly Catholic, I have learned so much from reading this book!

    Posted by Chloe Giampaolo on Sep 28th 2021

    I plan to share this book with friends and recommend it to as many persons that I can.

  • 4
    Light from Darkness

    Posted by Frederick Louis Sassin on Sep 23rd 2021

    Delightful summary of A.D./CE Catholic Church history. I was vaguely aware of Lapsi but the added detail was enlightening. Am reading on with joy!

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