Joseph McCabe's study of papal history is unusual in that he takes a hostile view of the Roman Catholic Church in general, and of the papacy in particular. Raised as a Catholic, McCabe was ordained as a Franciscan priest in 1890, but by 1897 had abandoned both the priesthood and the Catholic faith and was in the process of establishing himself as an ardent secularist. He published over 200 books, many of which were critiques of the history and contemporary activities of the Catholic Church.
Joseph McCabe was a remarkably courageous thinker and writer, who was not shy from pointing out the numerous errors he found in the monastic lifestyle which he eventually felt distracted human beings away from an unvarnished and more honest approach to understanding the cosmos around us and how to live within in it. The problem with Roman Catholicism, as Joseph McCabe will illustrate throughout his text, is that it is too concerned with its own survival as a worldwide organization and less as school for open and unabashed inquiry.
Joseph McCabe, an ex-Catholic monk, is a remarkable thinker: radical, heretical, and a futurist who saw how science would upend religious dogmatism, particularly as it relates to Darwinian evolution. This small book contains two pregnant essays from McCabe's vast array of publications, which touch upon the conflict between science and religion and how a new form of ethics can be based on rational inquiry.
It is said that there is no-one more zealous in a cause than an adult convert. A notable example of this was Joseph McCabe, whose conversion was not to a religion, but from religious faith to secularism. Ordained as a Franciscan priest in 1890, and later recognized by the Catholic Church as an able scholar and teacher, by 1897 McCabe had completely lost his faith and had left the priesthood. He became a very active secularist, delivering thousands of public lectures and publishing over two hundred books on a wide range of religious, historical and scientific topics.