Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest By: Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC
Non-fiction: religion, 273 pages
Physical Book Count: 4
Book Count: 11
I wanted to like this book, I really did want to like it. I heard the author talk about it over the radio and put it on my private Amazon list to buy sometime, luckily I ended up finding it at a library before I spent money on it.
The main idea of the book is that it a book for all the people that the author can not do parish missions and talks for, due to physical limitations of time and space. It is a book on Jesus through Mary, with many quotes from saints at the end of each section on Mary and the topic. And that it was written for the "Joe-six-pack in the pew." And that last part is where the problem lies.
The book started out fine, it might of had some phrases that I wouldn't expect in a religious book, but nothing where I stopped reading and went "what?!" But then we got to the part on the priesthood. I would like to state now I don't disagree with the Church having a all male priesthood, I have heard many well written arguments with theological, Biblical, and nuanced reasons for why that is, but not from this book. His main argument used, made me want to disagree with him for how bad it was. As although there were a number of good points that he made, his main one is that only men are priests because it is a soldier/warrior job. (With the implied, only men can fight idea.) But it is a Marian book, so it then adds that God gave priest Mary to help them in the battle and in the quotes section (and maybe in the main section, as it was a library book I couldn't highlight parts, and I didn't see it glancing over it,) it deals with the idea that Mary is the leader or general of God's army. So that kind of nullifies his whole argument. Again, I am only disagreeing with his poorly thought out metaphor here and not the idea he was using the metaphor for.
After that section things went back to okay for a while, he clearly doesn't understand complex mathematical ideas, and is of the belief that yoga stretches (when called that) are inherently worshiping of Hindu gods. (He didn't get into it enough to be like most people in the all yoga is evil group to say that when you do any of the exercises that copy a yoga move exactly and then rename it, it then becomes okay. Which is my main issue with the yoga is evil group, they are fine with Pilates which has a number of the exact same stretches or the various "Christian" stretching exercises, which again copy yoga moves exactly but change the names and add Christian pray and/or music to it.)
But, then he gets to the sections on "Manhood" and "Femininity." Where I learned many "gems" that sound like they were written by a less racist Archie Bunker. All men love; hunting, fishing, sports, and war games, and if you are a male that doesn't, there is something fundamentally wrong with you. It might be that you were raised by a single mother, who was overprotective, and as a female could not teach you the importation mainly hunting, fishing, fighting traits, and because of this you are gay. If you are a female your main goals in life should be:1 being a pretty, pretty princess, 2. getting married (there was nothing about nuns/religious sisters in that section, although we were informed that all women love "Chick Flicks" and it did mention Mary being married to God,) 3. being a mother, he did note that there is physical and spiritual motherhood, but didn't get into it a lot, as that section was mostly on the science of fetal microchimerism (how some cells of the child remind in the mother for life,) and why he doesn't think Mary died.
In closing, if you skip any section of this book where gender is a main point it would be a fine book.