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Question Title Posted By Question Date
Matthew Kelly Patrick Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I've recently decided to come back to the church after 20 years and have been reading a lot of Catholic books. One that I got my hands on is called Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly, which I got for free through I was originally planning to read it and then pass it on to other people who might want to have a look at it, but as I read it I grew uncomfortable with it.

It seems to be just a generic "inspirational" book that is using Catholicism. I decided to find out more about the author and what I discovered really turned me off. He has a foundation named after himself -- The Matthew Kelly Foundation, several books with pictures of himself on the cover, he claims to have heard the voice of God, on his web site under the 1000 Friends section is the heading, "How would your life be different if you had heard Matthew's message when you were in high school?", he has a catch phrase, "Are you becoming The-Best-Version-of-Yourself?" that he is now selling on a t-shirt, et cetera.

Matthew Kelly's message seems less to be about the Catholic Church and more about Matthew Kelly, and he strikes me as more of a huckster that is using Catholicism for his own fame and enrichment.

Here's the last paragraph of his bio (probably written by himself) in his book:

"Matthew Kelly's message is both timely and timeless. His example is authentic and inspiring. His passion for life is refreshing and challenging. It is certain that he will continue to be, with increasing influence, one of the most sought-after and endearing Catholic voices of our time."

Now, this is, at the very least, incredibly immodest. The bio on his web site ends with this paragraph word-for-word, by the way, except that the word "Catholic" has been replaced with the word "spiritual".

Am I right to have a problem with all of this? Thank you.

Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM

Dear Patrick:

Well, I do not see all the problems you are seeing. Of the many books on his site his picture in on three I think. The book covers are standard book covers that publishers design. Authors, actually, do not always have input on what covers will be or on the wording or promotional blurbs. The paragraph you quoted is also a standard blurb that is typically written by publishers.

His books are not self-published but are published by major publishers. Everything you are seeing is typical marketing practices. The publishing company or a promotional firm hired by the publisher does all this. The author is mostly just along for the ride and can do little about it.

The Catholics Come Home is a fine and trustworthy organization. Although that does not guarantee that books they sell are good, it is unlikely they would promote someone bad.

I personally do not like most marketing techniques, but if one of my books was published by a major publisher I would have little choice. The Authors are under contract to cooperate with the marketing of the books published by the publishing house. Perhaps if I marketed myself and this ministry better we would have the money and the personnel to expand this ministry to help a lot more people and provide more services and construct a better website.

I think you are making much ado about nothing and are committing the sin of rash judgment here. Actually your comments about huckster and such are bordering on libel. The man appears to be helping many people. I see no evidence to warrant such uncharitible remarks.

God Bless,
Bro. Ignatius Mary



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