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The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church Paperback – 7 Mar 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241967414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241967416
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 473,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

In this highly readable memoir of being a journalist at the Vatican, John Thavis follows the conclaves, sex scandals, internal backstabbing and olympian nature of the popes with a sense of comic relief at the caravan passing through his viewfinder (Jason Berry, author of Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church)

One closes John Thavis' perceptive study reflecting on the Vatican's challenge: to persist in a secularizing world sometimes fascinated by the pomp and pageantry of St. Peter's-but often hostile or increasingly indifferent to the Church's determined mission to harmonize warring factions and bickering enemies, even if both are on the same Catholic side (New York Journal of Books)

Not only provocative, this report is illuminating and fully accessible to members of the faith and doubters alike (Kirkus Reviews)

From the Back Cover

What exactly goes on inside the Vatican?

John Thavis describes in riveting detail the workings of a secretive and often chaotic culture which he has viewed as a journalist close up for thirty years.It's a place where cardinals fight private wars, scandals are constantly threatening to undermine Papal authority and reverence for the past comes up painfully against modern life.A place where careerism overshadows quiet dedication, where there are conflicting agendas and shifting alliances.

Who wins out when plans for a much-needed underground car park run up against the discovery of a Roman burial ground?
Why do the bells fail to ring when the new pope is elected?
What does George Bush bring to the Pontiff as a present?
And above all, what should we make of that most baffling of popes, Benedict XVI?

'A heroic and realistic and (yes) humorous picture of a mortal institution.To an old Prot like me, it's a tour of alien terrain and a bridge to old and dear friends' Garrison Keillor

'Highly readable.John Thavis follows the conclaves, sex scandals, internal backstabbing and Olympian nature of the popes with a sense of comic relief at the caravan passing through his viewfinder'Jason Berry, author of Render unto Rome

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