David Hartline of CatholicReport.org has written a book called "The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism" that is a very good read. As the title implies it is an optimistic look at the current indicators as to the state of the Catholic Church in the world. Though his optimistic look is not of the Pollyanna variety.
He combines indicators along with history and apologetics to make his points. I found a lot of interesting details that I was not aware of as I read the book especially on history within the last 40 years regarding the Church. Especially nice is that he backs everything up thoroughly with footnotes for each chapter and an extensive references in the back of the book for points made in the various chapters. He also includes several interviews he made for his site CatholicReport.org such as his one with Gene Robinson which is quite amazing.
Despite the fact that I often concentrate on punditry in regards to individuals and groups within the Church I also think that there are a number of positive indicators that are quite hopeful as far as the Church is concerned. Despite the priestly abuse scandals which are often rooted in previous decades there are a number of signs that can be viewed optimistically. I think talking about as the tide is turning is a good simile. The tide will always ebb and flow throughout the history of the Church of which anybody reading Church history will be quite aware of. As I have said before the Church takes a lickin’ but keeps on tickin’ and one of the greatest proofs of the Church is that it survives despite her members.
David looks at the growth of predominantly lay groups defending the faith, youth embracing Apostolic tradition, increase of Eucharistic Adoration, and some of the hopeful signs in Catholic education among some schools, and the Church in culture. He also addresses several other topics such as the decline of liberal churches, the Catholic Vote, and other subjects of a more apologetic nature. His discussions and examples mostly apply directly to the Church in the United States, but some of it can be applied world wide. He doesn’t make the mistake of seeing everything with Rose colored glasses. Catholic education obviously has a long way to go and their will be increasing conflicts with the culture in regards to Catholic truths. This book is both an enjoyable and informative read.