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The Vatican's Women: Female Influence at the Holy Seeby Paul Hofmann
Synopses & Reviews
Four hundred of the 3,800 people who permanently live or work in the State of Vatican City, the smallest sovereign and independent state on the globe, are women. They are nuns and members of the laity; some are housekeepers of churchmen; others are secretaries, translators, editors, lawyers, and middle-level officials of the papal administration.
Expansive in scope and enlightening in detail, The Vatican's Women recalls women who wielded power in the Vatican, including St. Catherine of Siena, Queen Christina of Sweden, Mother Pascalina (Pope Pius XII's longtime housekeeper and confidante), and Mother Teresa. With an unflinching eye, Paul Hofmann examines the papacy's reaction to Catholic women's (and nuns') liberation, and women's struggles, especially today, to fortify their positions within the Church. The Vatican's Women is a thorough and revealing exploration that will herald a new level of insight and dialogue amongst feminists, theologians, and laypeople alike.
Book News Annotation:
Hofmann (for decades a journalist at the New York Times, he was chief of its Rome bureau) interviewed women who worked in the Vatican to supplement his research of written records in compiling this engaging history, which describes the role of laywomen and nuns in the Holy See from medieval times through the present.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Praise for The Vatican's Women:
"This study by a veteran journalist may tell us more about the Vatican and women than any systematic study."
--Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, The New York Times Book Review
"Paul Hofmann combines the skills of a great reporter with keen yet detached observational powers."
--Eugene Kennedy, author of The Unhealed Wound: The Church, the Priesthood, and the Question of Sexuality
"Written in the engaging style of an insider"
"This books is as much about the Vatican as it is about women and is full of interesting, gossipy tidbits."
"If you are interested in the Vatican and its workings, you will find this a good read... I picked it up intending to give it a good skim. I ended up reading every word."
--John W. O'Malley, S.J., America
About the Author
Paul Hofmann was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times for almost thirty-five years and was chief of its Rome Bureau. He is presently a contributor to the Sunday magazine of the Times, as well as its Travel section. He lives in Rome.
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