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Parallel Empires: The Vatican and the United States--Two Centuries of Alliance and Conflict Hardcover – 20 Jan 2009

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x944de60c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
HASH(0x943c7b88) out of 5 stars A good history, but prone to hyperbole 28 Sept. 2015
By bibcath - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is an excellent and useful work in many respects. For one thing, it is the only book I am aware of which attempts to give a somewhat complete summary of the history of the diplomatic relations between the United States and the Holy See from the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 to today. The United States actually had formal diplomatic relations with the Papal States (but not with the Holy See) from 1789 to 1867. And from 1848 to 1867, there was even a diplomatic mission to the Pope, though it did not rise to the formal level of ambassador. So if you're interested in the events that led to the formal declaration of diplomatic ties in 1984, this is the book for you.

But I do feel the need to ding it a bit on the number of stars because the author unfortunately feels the need to engage in a little hyperbole. He takes this 'Parallel Empires' idea a little too seriously, trying to paint the Pope as one with an equal amount of power in world affairs as the United States, and near the end, he wants to claim that the disagreement between the Pope and White House over the 2003 Iraq invasion created a major crisis would could lead to a rupture in diplomatic relations. But here we are 6 years after the publication of this book, and 12 years after the invasion of Iraq, and it is apparent by now that any disruption in relations was only minor and temporary. He wants to blow it up into a major crisis, but it is clear that it wasn't.
HASH(0x94d7d66c) out of 5 stars Vatican hand in hand with an earthly empire 15 Aug. 2014
By Robert Broker - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The interested reader, religious or political, could learn much from this reporting which was secured from the expert participants.

"Parallel Empires" is a surprising self-admission OF the political character of the central religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church, as practiced in the United States. The enthusiasm of the Vatican to invest itself in the self-interests of the other empire, the United States, is an understandable attraction, given the immense earthly power of the Post-War US.

For Roman Catholics in the states, the subtle, little appreciated, and often secret negotiations of the Vatican might surprise many Catholics who could justly feel bypassed as well as having their US citizenship violated. These political initiatives were hardly transparent and limited in bringing either the peace or esteemed social equality so mightily encouraged by some Pontiffs..

The Second Vatican Council received hardly a mention and that seems to be an appropriate commentary in itself.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x945f86f0) out of 5 stars Fascinating Dual History 7 Aug. 2009
By Amadeus - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book that starts with an intriguing premise, a look at the two great "empires" of today - the American, and that of the Roman Catholic Church. While the founding fathers may have been Christian they certainly weren't Catholic and the strained relations between these two empires makes for interesting reading. This is a must read for anyone interested in American-Vatican affairs, or anyone looking for an interesting read. Highly recommended.
HASH(0x94d7d114) out of 5 stars She really liked. 18 Aug. 2014
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gave to my sister as gift. She really liked.
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