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All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks
Synopses & Reviews
A fascinating and enlightening look at the worlds oldest and most mysterious institution, written by an American journalist with unparalleled knowledge about the Vatican's past and present.
The sexual abuse scandals that shook American and British Catholicism in 2002 brought to light a long-standing cultural gap between the English-speaking Catholic world and the Vatican. In Rome, the crisis was often seen as an attack on the Church mounted by money-hungry lawyers, a hostile press, and liberal activists who used it as a way to turn attention on such concerns as celibacy, womens ordination, and lay empowerment. When the Vatican struck down the U.S. bishops draft for handling allegations of sexual abuse, many saw it as an attempt to curb an independent American Catholic church. Yet, as time passed, it became clear that the Vaticans well-founded concerns about due process were shared by most liberal U.S. bishops and canon lawyers.
ALL THE POPES MEN is a lucid, in-depth guide to the sometimes puzzling, often incomprehensible inner workings of the Vatican. It reveals how decisions are made, how papal bureaucrats think, and how careers in the Roman Curia are shaped. It debunks the myths that have fed the distrust and suspicions many English-speaking Catholics harbor about the way the Vatican conducts its business, explains who really wields the power, and offers entertaining profiles of the personalities, historical and present-day, who have wielded that power for good and for bad. A thoughtful analysis of the recent sexual abuse crisis sheds light on how the Vatican perceives the Church in the United States.
Balanced, lively, and filled with Vatican history and lore, ALL THE POPES MEN provides the general reader with an authoritative picture of the highly charged relationship between the Vatican and the richest, most influential national Catholic church in the world today.
"Allen, the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and analyst for CNN and National Public Radio, offers an authoritative guide to the church's inner workings. Far from sensationalistic, this book provides a carefully balanced view of how the Catholic Church works — and sometimes doesn't — in the modern world. Allen, who is Catholic himself but does not see himself as a missionary or apologist for the church, is a fair and thorough reporter of ecclesial affairs who drew on four-plus years of covering the Vatican as well as 35 interviews with officials in the church bureaucracy to write this book. He begins with an overview of the Vatican, then debunks five myths — including, notably, the idea that power is concentrated solely in the Pope and that the Vatican is fantastically wealthy. In talking about the myth and reality of Vatican secrecy, Allen lays out the basis for his book: that the Vatican's psychology and culture are difficult for people, even most Catholics, to grasp, resulting in miscommunication and animosity toward the church. Allen also delves into Vatican psychology, sociology and theology before concluding with lengthy chronologies detailing the Vatican's role in the American sexual abuse crisis and the war in Iraq. (July 13)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A fascinating and enlightening look at the worlds' oldest and most mysterious institution is written by an American journalist with unparalleled knowledge about the Vatican's past and present.
A fascinating and enlightening look at the worlds' oldest and most mysterious institution is written by an American journalist with unparalleled knowledge about the Vatican's past and present. Balanced and lively and filled with Vatican history and lore, "All the Pope's Men" provides the general reader with an authoritative picture of the highly charged relationship between the Vatican and the American Catholic Church.Doubleday
About the Author
JOHN L. ALLEN, Jr., is the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNN and National Public Radio. His weekly Internet column, “The Word from Rome,” is widely considered the best source of insights into Vatican affairs in the English language.
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