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The Pope is Not Gay! [Paperback]

Angelo Quattrocchi
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 July 2010
The Pope is Not Gay is an irreverent history of homophobic and sexist obscurantism in the Holy Roman Church and an endoscopic examination of its greatest contemporary advocate, Pope Benedict XVI. In his inimitable style, Angelo Quattrocchi traces the evolution of Joseph Ratzinger s life, beginning with the pope s childhood in Nazi Germany, his membership of the Hitler Youth in Bavaria and his conscription into the German anti-aircraft corps. His has been a startling career, a story that helps explain his development as a reactionary theologian and culminates in his carefully planned election to the papacy in 2005. Quattrocchi contrasts the Pope s doctrinal rigidity on issues such as birth control, abortion, and homosexuality to his extravagant attire and his controversial relationship with his private secretary, Cardinal Georg Gänswein. Rigidity on all fronts.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (5 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844674746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844674749
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Not your average Pope-bashing ... the book is deeply offensive --Catholic Herald

Fantastic --National Secular Society

Life has changed. The world has changed. But Angelo remains the same, a dissident who resists the depredations of an increasingly marketized culture. --Tariq Ali

About the Author

Anarchist and poet, ANGELO QUATTROCCHI (1945 2009) reported from London, Paris and the US for Italian newspapers in the 1960s and 1970s and subsequently worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC, Channel 4, and Italian television. His books include The Beginning of the End: France, May 1968, What Happened, Why It Happened with Tom Nairn.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Broga
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary book. Accessible while revealing the most persuasive and deeply insightful analysis of Pope Benedict. His apparently bizarre and it must be said utterly unacceptible behaviour has new and penetrating light shone on it. I was moved from what was previous contempt to pity for this conflicted and deeply repressed man. To consider the vast emotional energy needed to translate his often cruel and bizarre policies into practice, even into a belief system, must be a kind of living hell. Read and understand.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious polemic or just trolling? 25 Aug 2010
I enjoyed this book, it was fun, easy to read and I tend to sypathise with Quattrocchi's political viewpoints, but I would be inclined to have given this a three and a half rating if I could have, because I'm really not sure if the argument is really no more than a print version of sticking two fingers in the air or sticking your toungue at His Holieness, just for the "heck" of it.

The book is really an extended essay, in five parts, with large appendix.
It begins with an introdution to the life of Joseph Ratzinger and mentions his disinclination to talk about his early life and relationships, and describes his rise through the Church hierachy, and somewhat describes his role in the Congregation for the doctrine of faith (CDF), his relationship with John paul II and his irresistable rise to Pope.

The second section describes the (quite scary?) rise of Georg Ganswein through some of the most reactionary sections of the church and German politics, to the CDF, where Ratinger seemed to manoeuver him to his current position as personal secretary.

It is in the latter sections of the book that I have the issue with.Yes it is a very nice idea that this unlikeable little man, with his darkly charismatic assistant, is some kind of ultra repressed homosexual, explaining the vicious backlash againts the small refoms the Church has made since Vatican 2, but really what is the argument based on?

1. The Pope has a penchant for dressing up in flamboyant gaudy attire, unlike the rest of the bishops and cardinals then?
2. He wears red Prada shoes.
3. His somewhat close relationship to Msgr. Ganswein.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ratzy is Rank 3 Sep 2010
I saw an ad for this hilarious book in Private Eye. I instantly put in an order - as the Catholic Church is constantly in the news for inappropriate husbandry of the flock I couldn't resist the title's promise. The book, though small, does not disappoint. The anger of the author is sublimated to pointing out the absurd mediaeval stances of the church on issues of homosexuality, with a very strong dash of irony - as someone so obsessed with his personal appearance, material comfort and hilarious platonic lover, Ratzinger looks a hypocritical fool, especially when pontificating on tolerance, poverty, compassion, homosexuality, contraception and other mainstays of this most conservative and damaging religious leader of recent times. There are oodles of examples, careful observations and appendices to support the undercurrent suggestion: "takes one to know one".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more! 20 Feb 2011
Great title,great opening,but this book left me wanting more detail,more analysis and more critique of the pope and the ridiculous institution that he heads.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The book is deeply offensive, but not for the reason you might imagine. It has the same tired and predictable Church-bashing and focus on the central conceit - and the selling-point of this slim, hot pink paperback - that the Pope's "extravagant attire and his controversial relationship with his private secretary, Cardinal Georg Gänswein" sits uneasily with his "doctrinal rigidity on issues such as birth control, abortion and homosexuality".

By "doctrinal rigidity" the author, Angelo Quattrocchi, means "being a Catholic". The fact that a third of the book isn't even original material, but consists solely of freely available documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, hardly speaks of originality or a masterful critique of his subject. But it's Quattrocchi's laziness and cheap jokes (his tone is consistently snide and malicious), combined with his own strange ideas about what makes a gay man, that gets one thinking. Is this man himself an offensive homophobic bigot?

It isn't enough to say that the book merely insinuates that the Pope is homophobic. It states it outright: "What they [the Pope and Mgr Gänswein] have in common, apart from their reactionary sentiments [again, I think he means "Catholicism"], many reactionary friends and the thousands of little habits created by their day-to-day contact, is a profound and implacable homophobia".

Quite a claim. Yet, at the same time, Quattrocchi trowels on the innuendo, calling the Pope's sexuality into question again and again because of his allegedly flamboyant taste in clothes and because he spends a lot of time with his private secretary (deeply suspicious, I'm sure you'll agree). Come on, are the flamboyant clothes of previous Kings and Queens indicative of homosexuality?
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