A year after its release, the new book, entitled The Catholic Controversy: How the Catholic Church Has Fought for Its Identity, remains the most popular book in its genre.
It has been translated into Spanish, German, Russian and Czech, and it is being reissued in English in April 2019.
Its main thrust is to debunk the myths and misconceptions that have been built around the faith.
The book has a long history of success.
In the 1950s, the late Italian writer Federico García Lorca coined the phrase “Catholic Controversies”, a catchphrase he used to describe the phenomenon of writers who sought to dispel Catholic myths, such as that there is a Catholic God.
A year later, another Italian writer, Francesco Marzia, wrote a short piece for The New Yorker magazine, where he challenged the notion that the Catholic church was somehow a religion of peace.
He called the church’s opposition to pacifism and euthanasia “the most radical critique of Christianity in a century”.
And in 1962, Italian writer Sergio Bertolucci wrote an essay in The New York Times Magazine about the Catholic doctrine of “totality” (the doctrine that every human being is created in the image of God).
“There is no greater insult to God than to speak of his creation without reference to him, without reference even to the image he has of himself, without even the semblance of a comparison,” he wrote.
The title of the book is also a reference to Bertolacci’s argument that the only thing that counts in life is your own worth.
“It is not enough to be the object of love,” Bertolaci wrote.
“To love the whole world is to love all its parts.”
It was in this context that he made the claim that the Church’s position on abortion and euthanisation is an extreme version of “Christianity of death”.
It was a claim that, at the time, had been rejected by the Vatican, which held that life begins at conception.
“What Bertolacci’s argument really argues is that there are many different ways of living, of being, of enjoying oneself and of enjoying others,” says Stephen Fife, a professor of English literature at Cambridge University.
“And if you do not live in accordance with these different ways, you are a nihilist.”
The book was also attacked by the US Catholic bishops, who saw it as a challenge to their authority.
And for some critics, it was seen as an attempt to undermine the authority of the Catholic hierarchy itself.
A former bishop of San Francisco, John Cardinal Burke, wrote in the American Catholic magazine that the book was “a great assault on the authority and authority of our own bishops, on the very notion of what is called Catholic.”
Cardinal Burke’s criticisms were echoed by the pope himself.
In 1963, Francis told the US bishops to “get a grip on this thing of life” and to “be careful about your way of living”.
“They can’t be too careful,” Francis said.
The debate over whether the Catholic faith can be a religion is not new.
In 1594, a group of English Catholic writers argued that the Bible was the “sacred book” that “proved” the truth of Christianity.
They were also convinced that the word “Christian” should never be used to refer to a religion.
“This doctrine, that Christianity is not a religion, has been maintained since the beginning of the Christian era,” said the writer Samuel Butler, who wrote The Baptism of the Spirit, the first volume of a three-volume work, which is considered to be among the first works of modern literature.
“The first Christians were not interested in being religious, they were not looking to a god,” Butler said.
In 1610, John Locke argued that Christianity was “not an infallible doctrine, and the Bible is not an infallibly good book.”
The debate about whether the faith can exist within the confines of the church has continued to this day.
But the Catholic leaders who have made the arguments against the faith have been able to convince the wider public that the faith is not based on anything more than the Bible.
In many ways, the Catholic debate about the nature of the faith has been a continuation of the debate over the origins of Christianity itself.
The history of the idea that Christianity had to be based on a belief system that was the product of divine revelation has been an argument for the church.
For centuries, the idea of the original Christian church has been contested by scholars, writers and even scholars themselves.
It was, for example, argued that there were multiple traditions that developed within Christianity over time.
Some scholars have argued that some of the traditions of the early church, such the veneration of icons and the teaching of the apostles, were “inspired by” the Gospel.
And some scholars have claimed that certain elements of the gospel, such Jesus’ call to give the apostles “a new heart” and the idea behind the resurrection