Nearly forty years ago, Ralph Martin’s bestselling A Crisis of Truth exposed the damaging trends in Catholic teaching and preaching that, combined with attacks from secular society, threatened the mission and life of the Catholic Church. While much has been done to counter false teaching over the last four decades, today the Church faces even more insidious threats—from outside and within.

In A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, Martin offers a detailed look at the growing hostility to the Catholic Church and its teaching. With copious evidence, Martin uncovers the forces working to undermine the Body of Christ and offers hope to those looking for clarity.

A Church in Crisis covers:

-polarization in the Church caused by ambiguous teachings

-initiatives that accommodate the culture without calling for conversion

-Vatican-sponsored partnerships with organizations that actively contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church

-and the recycling of theological errors long settled by Vatican II, Pope St. John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI.


Powerfully written, A Church in Crisis reminds all readers to heed Jesus’ express command not to lead His children astray. With ample resources to encourage readers, Ralph Martin provides the solid foundation of Catholic teaching—both Scripture and Tradition—to fortify Catholics against the errors that threaten us from all directions.


Ralph Martin is the president of Renewal Ministries and Director of Graduate Theology Programs in Evangelization and a professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Angelicum University in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Martin as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. He was also appointed as a peritus for the Synod on the New Evangelization which was held in Rome in 2012. Martin is the author of the bestselling The Fulfillment of All Desire and several other books. He and his wife Anne reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan and are the parents of six and grandparents of nineteen.


“In this book Dr. Martin is squarely facing the serious crisis that is unfolding both in the Church and in the culture. He does so in an honest but fair manner and offers solutions that, if implemented, would do a great deal to restore health and strength to the Church, and allow it to be the light to the world it is meant to be. An important book that should be widely read.”
Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


“It is impossible to deny the crisis of division and widespread confusion that characterizes the Church in our day. Nor can anyone who loves the Church ignore the strong theological undercurrents that Dr. Martin identifies, currents that try to separate what cannot be legitimately divided: pastoral charity from revealed truth. This is an important book well worth reading.”
Bishop Scott McCaig, C.C.
Military Ordinary of Canada


“This book is a massive achievement. Ralph Martin is one of the most reliable analysts of the state of the Church. He is brave and bold, outspoken but never snarky or alarmist. Some of his chapters, such that on culpability, shed fresh light on some of the most debilitating confusions of our age. This book will be the go-to book for those who want a comprehensive view of the crisis in the Church today.”
Janet Smith, Author of Self-Gift: Humanae Vitae and the Thought of John Paul II


“Ralph Martin’s new book is the clear blast of a trumpet, a bright light in the midst of a fog of confusion and apathy. Its analysis of the present crisis in the Church is profoundly sobering, but not dispiriting. No, God himself is at work to purify and renew his Church, and this book will inspire both clergy and laity to collaborate in that work through soul-searching, repentance, courage, zeal for holiness, and a renewed hope in the victory of the risen Lord.”
Mary Healy


“Ralph Martin’s remarkable book provides an extraordinary opportunity to engage in a self-examination of our ‘own faithfulness to Christ’s will for the Church and accordingly to undertake with vigor the task of renewal and reform’ (Vatican II, Unitatis Redintegratio 4). . . . His book simply could not have come at a better time.”
Eduardo J. Echeverria, Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary


“The Catholic Church is in deep crisis. It doesn’t take a genius to see that. However, to present an accurate and synthetic picture of the crisis, to identify its roots, and to indicate the path forward takes more than a genius: it takes a man filled with the Spirit of God. Ralph Martin is just such a person, and his new book is fire alarm, tonic and fresh air all wrapped into one.”
Msgr. Andrew McLean Cummings, Director of Spiritual Formation, Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland


“The crisis of truth is back. An unblinking analysis of these toxic threats to the Church is once again desperately needed, but while many have provided elements of such an analysis, few have proffered so sweeping an evaluation while retaining admirable balance and evincing heartfelt love for the Church. Yet Dr. Martin goes further still in this book, which I do not hesitate to call prophetic. He points the way forward by holding fast to Scripture, rejecting the rationalization of sin and the false security of universalism, and recommending the proven remedies of repentance and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Fr. Peter Ryan, S.J. Professor of Theology, Director of Spiritual Formation, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Former Executive Director USCCB Committee on Doctrine.

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Publish Date

October 2020



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Product Reviews

7 reviews for A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward

  1. Basil Onugu

    Great reading. Rating good

  2. Jim Olszewski

    Just finished reading a Church in Crisis. I am very familiar with Ralph Martin, having heard him speak on numerous occasions, and to personally meet once briefly.
    I found this to be a straight forward analysis of our church, its leadership, and us its members in this present most critical time. I believe it reinforces what most of us have seen, assumed, or felt taking place. However, beyond being a critique, Dr Martin outlines what each of us must do! I found it both inspiring and encouraging. It clarifies and reinforces my thought, required action, and my responsibility as a Catholic follower of Christ!
    Not an easy read, but oh so important. If you get bogged down, jump ahead to the last few chapters, and then come back to earlier chapters.
    Thank you Dr Martin!

  3. Deacon Chuck Mugnolo

    This book is a hard read I agree with that. It is exactly the reason why most of our Catholic brothers and sisters are in a fog of awareness when it comes to true Church teaching. Many refuse to give the time required to come to an understanding of true teaching in scripture. God bless you Ralph for having the courage to bring the truth to the forefront of our faith.

  4. Frank

    I’d like to start with the positive. Ralph Martin is clearly vary knowledgeable of the Faith, and is a solid Catholic trying do what’s right and to help the Church he clearly cares about. There are some excellent quotations, thoughtful passages, and good perspectives. The great strength of the book is that it will make you very aware of the problems the church is facing, in detail. If that’s what you’re looking for, it’s not a bad buy. Ralph is also very fair with dealing with Pope Francis, showing the good and the bad.

    That being said, the book reads like an elderly relative ranting at Thanksgiving dinner. Apart from making us aware of the problems in the Church and why they are problems, there’s not much else here. I struggled to get through pages and pages of passioned condemnations of universalism which proved to say little other than “universalism is bad don’t believe in it”. The largest critique I had is that (if you can’t tell from the cover) the book relies heavily on fear-mongering, to the point of contradiction (if you’re arguing that not many will be saved, how can you turn around and argue we aren’t saving enough people in the next chapter? What am I supposed to get out of that?). This type of fear-mongering may sell books but it won’t save the church and I doubt it will make you a better Catholic. Let’s be honest: it’s Jesus’ church, guided by the Holy Spirit, and he has allowed these things to happen. Where sin abounds, grace abounds also.

    If you want to be informed about what’s wrong currently and how to avoid it, sure give it a read. If you already know, well, I just saved you 30 bucks.

  5. mina brunet

    I read the first chapter of the book and I am apprehensive to continue to read it. I am not sure if I have a solid foundation that I will not lose my faith. I am just a regular mother who is trying to be a catholic and trying to follow the teachings of the catholic church. I am petrified to think that Pope Francis, head of the catholic church, would lead his people astray, and that I know better than him. I think most catholic are very young in their faith that a book like this might destroy it. Maybe this book are for more adult Christians. Its like giving a steak to a baby, not sure what will happen to the baby. For me, It is inconceivable that God would allow the head of the church to be wrong. To me the pope is like a parent, he is perfect and does not make mistakes. A child does not understand that the parent is flawed.

    I know the mercy of God is greater than my sin and if most people will know of this thru the Pope, even if they don’t understand divine justice, but just enough to set their foot in purgatory (even if they will spend a million years in purgatory) that is still one less soul in hell.

  6. Catherine Cassleman

    Ordered this for every Priest I know and mailed it to them. Our priests need guidance that they aren’t getting from many Bishops. Praying that the Holy Spirit works through this book. Prayers for our clergy and for their continual conversion and sanctification to run the race as Paul said and feed their sheep as Christ said!

  7. Mike Bolognese

    Without a doubt Dr. Ralph Martin’s finest hour. The writing is superb! It is well researched and should be on every pastor’s must read list. Not since the Crisis of Truth’s publication has there been such explicit clear examples of where we need to go to correct the path we are on as a Christian people. No detail is spared in explaining the crisis in the church. Truly an amazing piece of work. It is a scholarly endeavor that will inform, educate and amaze the reader.

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A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward