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 Amazon.com (beta)
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.
"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.