The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2013 - Religion - 321 pages
33 Reviews
The revealing New York Times bestseller examines the reign of Pope Benedict, the papal conclave process, and the history of one of the world’s oldest and most mysterious institutions

For more than twenty-five years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.

Thavis takes readers from a bell tower high above St. Peter’s to the depths of the basilica and the saint’s burial place, from the politicking surrounding the election of a new pope and the ever-growing sexual abuse scandals around the world to controversies about the Vatican’s stand on contraception, and more.

Perceptive, sharply written, and witty, The Vatican Diaries will appeal not only to Catholics (lapsed as well as devout) but to any readers interested in international diplomacy and the role of religion in an increasingly secularized world.

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Review: The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

User Review  - Nancyann - Goodreads

I'd like to rate The Vatican Diaries a 2.5. Parts of the book were interesting, other parts not so much. I read John Thavis's books out of sequence, beginning with is Vatican Prophecies which I ... Read full review

Review: The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church

User Review  - Rob Trainor - Goodreads

This is a wonderful book that pulls back the curtain on the Vatican. I had attended Catholic school and was given the party line regarding the infallibility of the Pope and his supreme leadership ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

John Thavis recently retired as the prizewinning Rome bureau chief of Catholic News Service, a position he had held since 1983. He recently served as an ABC correspondent throughout the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict, the papal conclave that elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and the instillation of Pope Francis. In 2007 the Catholic Press Association awarded him the St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor given by the Catholic press. He lives in Bemidji, Minnesota.

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