It’s Not Necessarily So: A Senior Priest Separates Faith from Fiction and Makes Sense of Belief

The title says it all! It’s Not Necessarily So: A Senior Priest Separates Faith from Fiction and Makes Sense of Belief. A wise parish priest and educator not only tackles the problems in the institution of the Catholic Church and the dogma of the Catholic faith, but also offers solutions and spiritual insights.

Fr. Richard Rento, S.T.L. confronts the issue of clergy sexual abuse head on and focuses on many other areas of church dysfunction. Anyone who has ever questioned illogical rules, meaningless ritual or implausible doctrine will find answers in this book. Written in a warm and friendly style the book addresses life-impacting and community-building issues ranging from answered prayers to Gay marriage, from abortion to the meaning of God. From the get-go Fr. Rento announces that he is not a theologian; so don’t expect any theological treatises or dissertations. Rather be treated to his personal experience and unpretentious language.

Persons who have doubts, fears or misgivings about their faith and/or their relationship with the church will find comfort in these pages. “Nones” and parents of “nones” will appreciate Fr. Rento’s perceptions as will everyone who is searching for meaning in life and a belief system based upon a relationship with the Divine that respects and resonates with the whole person and allows for spiritual growth and maturity.


 A Great Book!
By  Mark G Nixono
I bought a copy of Fr. Rento’s book through Amazon and liked it so much that I ordered three more copies to give to friends. It is forthright and pastoral and should be helpful to a lot of people who love the Church but are disappointed with the way the Church is addressing serious issues like women’s ordination, married priests, same-sex marriage, abortion, etc. Fr. Rento’s emphasis on the Church as all of the people who make it up and on the role of a well-formed conscience as the ultimate guide for moral choices provides fresh perspectives. But it his love for the Church, balanced, sensible judgment, and deep respect for the dignity and intelligence of regular people that make his pastoral arguments for change most persuasive

A man who understands the human heart and mind.
By Amazon Customer
This book reflects the mind and heart of a man who truly understands humanity, and who applies his many years of experience, wisdom, and faith to the pages of this enlightening book. I was particularly moved by his address to former priests and their wives, members of CORPUS, and the way he so gently accepted their decision to leave the priesthood, and his wish that they could somehow come back to minister to Catholics who are so much in need of their reflections on life in the world outside the priesthood. If only the institutional church would catch up to the contemporary thinking of Fr. Rento, there would probably be more of us returning to the pews, or at least more accepting of the faith as it should be lived.

Review by Reader
I want to tell you how much I appreciate your book. I’m a long lapsed Catholic who for years has identified as agnostic and as “spiritual but not religious”. That, in fact, is a choice for your religious preference on!

As I’m getting older I’m feeling a greater interest in finding a religious community. Your book articulates the important elements of the Christian faith beautifully and provides clear explanations of how we can interpret the faith in contemporary terms. Your words describe thoughts and conversations that I’ve had for years. Thank you for helping me as I explore my faith, religion and my relationship with God.

About the Author

Father Richard G. Rento is a native of Clifton, N.J., having graduated from St. Paul’s Elementary School in that city. After graduation from Clifton High School, he went on to Seton Hall University, Immaculate Conception Seminary, and the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

He has been a priest of the Diocese of Paterson for 60 years. During that time he has ministered as pastor, administrator, educator, hospital chaplain, radio broadcaster, lecturer, and retreat-giver. For 20 years he was diocesan director of religious education and director of continuing education for priests; for the next 20 years he served as pastoral team coordinator at St. Brendan Church in Clifton. In 1998, he retired and is now living in Lavallette, NJ. He remains more active than he had anticipated, serving as Catholic chaplain at the Seabrook Village retirement community in Tinton Falls, N.J., presiding at the weekly WPAT Radio Mass in Paterson, lecturing, and giving retreats and days of recollection.

Visit Fr. Rento’s blog Holy Heretic on

CD version available from Caritas Communication @

Review & Commentary