Hope and Life Press (HLP) is pleased to announce the release of the book Icons as Resistance: Challenging the New Iconoclasm in the Catholic Church by Maltese-American author and HLP founder Marcelle Bartolo-Abela. This book documents a series of engaging conversations about the role that icons have in the Church at large and the role they can play at present in the Roman Catholic Church itself. These conversations were held between the author and a group of traditional Catholics earlier this year.

The Western Catholic Church is fast losing her centuries-old sense of the uncreated beauty of God, as manifested through the created beauty of sacred art, by buying into postmodern minimalism for new churches. This loss is occurring despite the Church’s longstanding tradition as Patroness of the Arts and the 1999 call of Saint John Paul II for the urgent need to return to “epiphanies of beauty” in Catholic churches worldwide. In the meantime, icons and iconographic frescos that populate Orthodox churches remain much sought after by believers and non-believers alike for their timeless beauty and inescapable sense of the transcendent. Will the People of God be able to resist the new iconoclasm characterized by facelessness in the Western Church through the triumphant and hidden power of icons?

Icons as Resistance: Challenging the New Iconoclasm in the Catholic Church is available in ebook edition only from Amazon and directly from the publishers.


Marcelle Bartolo-Abela is a Maltese-American consultant on the interface of multiculturalism, psychology, spirituality, and the political sphere. A first-generation immigrant to America, she served as a mental health clinician in hospital, community, private practice settings in the Northeast US and Malta. She has lectured on psychology and psychotherapy to psychiatry residents and graduate students in the US, UK, and Malta. She also served as consultant to faculty and program managers on the combined provision of multicultural psychology and spirituality services. In addition, Bartolo-Abela has provided advocacy and consultation on the issues of free speech rights in relation to criminalization discourses in the legislative agenda First Malta Then the World.

Bartolo-Abela is the author of nine books on the Catholic Faith and spirituality including Deification of Man in Christianity, The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father, and Who Are You? What is Your Faith? America’s 21st Century Alt-Right and Catholic Social Doctrine. This last book received support from Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. Bartolo-Abela holds a Master of Science in Psychology from Springfield College, the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodologies in the Social Sciences from Middlesex University, and the Certificate in Catholic Social Doctrine for Professionals from The Catholic University of America. Bartolo-Abela is a mid-level apprentice in Russian-Byzantine iconography. Her icons can be found in churches and private collections in the US, Italy, and Malta.

Originally published at on October 10, 2017.