Jaroslav Pelikan, Confessor Between East and West: A Portrait of Ukrainian Cardinal Josyf Slipyj (Eeerdmans 1990, 249pgs.)
Maybe there isn’t much more for me to say about this book beyond what I noted earlier this year when I compared it to Cardinal Lubomyr Husar’s recollections. It is, however, a work I return to often, not because of its thoroughness (which is debatable) but because the sad reality is that so little exists in English on Patriarch Josyf and his writings. More than that, however, Peilkan’s portrait (and it is just that: a portrait, not an exhaustive treatment) is personally important to the extent that it helped turn my back to my Greek-Catholic childhood roots after spending more than a decade running away from them, first as an atheist; then as an Eastern Orthodox Christian; and finally as an Easterner in a decidedly Latin environment. Now is not the place to get into all of that; but I wanted to make mention of it if only to offer some explanation as to why I return regularly to a text that is sadly out of print and in some ways incomplete.