❮Read❯ ➮ The Vatican Diaries ➲ Author John Thavis – Saudionline.co.uk

The Vatican Diaries chapter 1 The Vatican Diaries , meaning The Vatican Diaries , genre The Vatican Diaries , book cover The Vatican Diaries , flies The Vatican Diaries , The Vatican Diaries 9905f862a3292 The Revealing New York Times Bestseller Examines The Reign Of Pope Benedict, The Papal Conclave Process, And The History Of One Of The World S Oldest And Most Mysterious Institutions For Than Twenty Five Years John Thavis Held One Of The Most Fascinating Journalistic Jobs In The World Reporting On The Inner Workings Of The Vatican His Daily Exposure To The Power, Politics, And Personalities In The Seat Of Roman Catholicism Gave Him A Unique, Behind The Scenes Perspective On An Institution That Is Far Less Monolithic And Unified Than It First Appears Thavis Reveals Vatican City As A Place Where Curia Cardinals Fight Private Wars, Scandals Threaten To Undermine Papal Authority, And Reverence For The Past Is Continually Upended By The Practical Considerations Of Modern Life Thavis Takes Readers From A Bell Tower High Above St Peter S To The Depths Of The Basilica And The Saint S Burial Place, From The Politicking Surrounding The Election Of A New Pope And The Ever Growing Sexual Abuse Scandals Around The World To Controversies About The Vatican S Stand On Contraception, And Perceptive, Sharply Written, And Witty, The Vatican Diaries Will Appeal Not Only To Catholics Lapsed As Well As Devout But To Any Readers Interested In International Diplomacy And The Role Of Religion In An Increasingly Secularized World


10 thoughts on “The Vatican Diaries

  1. says:

    This is absolutely amazing It is the ideal audio book in that it is all facts and not clever literary devices that require interpretation from either the narrator or better, the reader I can t say I had a lot of respect for Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, what with his very circumspect remarks at the Holocaust Memorial in Israel and his membership of Hitler youth, but this book, so far, has changed that I now am rather in awe of his moral strength and intellectual PR skills that put the Church rather than his ego to the fore.The book started off with his election but now comes the back story which is greatly involved with the pederasty rampant in the Church In particular, the Legion of Christ and its corrupt and abusive founder Marcial Maciel Degollado Marcial had been praised and promoted by Ratzinger s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, but Ratzinger, was having none of it Perhaps for the first time in Papal history, the new Pope was critical, even if in a veiled way, of his predecessor s policies Interesting.I m only on chapter 4 and it is getting even better.


  2. says:

    If you are interested in the papacy, religion in general, or history, this book is an excellent addition to your shelf In particular it excels in providing detail from deep within the Curia and other Vatican and Roman Catholic institutions It opens with a tantalizing story of the nearly forgotten bells of St Peter s that were supposed to ring on the election of a new pope in 2005, and from there moves to chapters providing detailed scenes of such things as a meeting between Benedict and the renegade Lefebvrist movement.I m currently reading Absolute Monarchs, a one volume history of the papacy, and added this book to the list the moment I heard about it I m switching from one book to the other and monitoring all the news out of Rome as Benedict abdicates and a new Pope is elected, and the timing for someone fascinated with history and especially that of the papacy could not be better.The book moves along I brought it home last night and I m about 40% done already but it s not skimpy in any way.The author, John Thavis, has also just opened a blog dealing with the 2013 Conclave at


  3. says:

    Find this and other reviews at two days ago people the world over waited for white smoke to appear above St Peter s Square and it isn t hard to understand why The Holy See is arguably the most influential organization in the entirety of human history, the power it wields is sacred to faithful, but equally impressive to those outside the Catholic church In The Vatican Diaries, John Thavis lifts the veil of secrecy and sheds light on the politics that characterize life in Vatican City Offering readers insight into the world he knew while working for the Catholic News Service The thing I liked most about this book is that unlike some other titles I ve sampled over the years, Thavis humanizes the Vatican He talks about her quirks and idiosyncrasies, points to her character by examining her structure and inhabitants Even in print the city seems real as seen through the eyes of one who holds such obvious passion for her past, present and future Thavis writing isn t tinged with superiority either, its steady rhythm and light humor make The Vatican Diaries both easy to understand and delightfully entertaining A great book for those looking for a intimate look at the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.


  4. says:

    Quite a fascinating set of snap shot of the Vatican The author doesn t provide any sensational disclosures, rather he relates a few of his experiences, discusses some of the debates in the Vatican on child abuse, use of condoms, homosexuality and the power of the few, newer sects There are some amusing tales of the dysfunction in this large organisation, the way things change with a new Pope, the cauldron of positions in the Vatican departments and some of it s exactness of the rites, customs and processes Plus it is very readable.


  5. says:

    John Thavis, who covered the Vatican as a journalist for 30 years, betrayed his Minnesota roots when he wrote, Attending these Rome academic conferences was like fishing on a slow day you waited a lot and hoped something would bite Thavis, a native of Mankato, Minn., and a graduate of St John s University in Collegeville, hooked an author s dream His book on the inner workings of the Vatican was ready to be released when Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly announced his decision to retire.Viking moved up the release date, making The Vatican Diaries as timely a read as a writer might hope for.Thavis, whose byline ran in The Visitor for many years, retired just last year as Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service.That post and the many friends and sources he made in and around St Peter s often put him in unique position to observe and hear of any number of interesting goings on, some foolhardy, some machiavellian, some scandalous.Anecdotes, even atrocitiesThere is, for example, the blatant disregard for an ancient cemetery by one Vatican City functionary, who is intent on bulldozing the monuments and the remains to add parking to the cramped tiny space.A lengthy chapter on the finally denounced, cult like Legion of Christ gives a vivid picture of how power works in the Vatican, and it s not a very nice portrait.Thavis details how the once revered founder of the Legion of Christ was protected by people in high places who refused to believe accusations made against him over the course of decades, and it was only when Father Marcial Maciel Degollado s double life was revealed that he had fathered children by two women, sexually abused his own son and hidden secret assets of nearly 30 million that the Vatican finally intervened.The incident has left an obvious black mark on the late Pope John Paul II s record, but Thavis presents insight here that echoes in other Catholic locales around the globe.He writes, To a good number of Vatican officials, the calls for transparency and full accountability in the Maciel case were typical of moralistic and legalistic Americans, but not necessarily helpful for the universal church As one Vatican offical put it, We have a two thousand year history of not airing dirty laundry You don t really expect that to change, do you Thavis dives into the ongoing squabble over the ultra conservative, breakaway Society of St Pius X, sharing probably than the typical Catholic would want to know about the battle over the validity of Vatican II by this hard core group of naysayers.Superb reporting, writingThere s a terrific chapter that s really a personality profile of the American priest who was one of the Vatican s top Latin language experts the fun, enlightening and eccentric Father Reginald Foster.Foster Thavis eschews his title throughout is a reporter s dream, someone on the inside who knows a lot, isn t afraid to share and shares in colorful language The chapter on The Latinist is of the quality of a piece you d expect to read in the New York Times Magazine or The New Yorker.Thavis went along to some 60 countries with John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and The Vatican Diaries includes hilarious anecdotes about life as a reporter on papal trips There s plenty about life covering the Vatican to enjoy reading, too, including the story about the pope s preacher admitting he used Google as a source.Readers will find that the halo they may have imagined above the heads of some high ranking residents of Vatican City ends up, shall we say, less glowing, to describe it the way a Vatican official might, avoiding the use of the accurate tarnished And that may be what Thavis does best here.Important contributionHe offers sound reporting and analysis, to be sure But he s at the top of his game explaining how The Vatican sees things.He translates Vatican ese, putting in plain language what official statements really say, and in many cases what those statements say by not saying something directly.Even when he gets into such minutia of a story that you wonder if all these details are necessary, Thavis seems to perfectly sum it up by interpreting the event s significance It s as if, without using these words, he s says, now here s why this is important The Vatican Diaries is not only informative and entertaining Published as the Catholic Church prepares to welcome a new leader, it gives us valuable insight into the organizational challenges the new pontiff faces.


  6. says:

    I am not a Catholic, but I admit I have a fascination with the Vatican, having visited the basilica, the Vatican museum, and the Sistine Chapel many years ago on a vacation to Rome So when I saw that this book was described as a behind the scenes look I was curious to check it out Also, with Pope Benedict having just retired, and with the selection of a new Pope imminent, this book seemed a very appropriate read for me right now.I was not disappointed The book was very readable, and details many behind the scenes items of the Vatican workings Many chapters were amusing and show how things, such as the ringing of the church bells for specific events, and the color of the smoke coming from the Sistine Chapel chimney during conclave votes, are not be as regimented and organized as you would expect The book covers events during the terms of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict It covers the sex abuse scandal is great detail, and also has several chapters on the press team that travels with the Pope, as well as gossip and scuttlebutt on several world leaders who have had visits with the Pope If you are at all interested in the inner workings of the Vatican, this book is both an enjoyable and informative read.


  7. says:

    I have an interesting family history with the Catholic Church I grew up Catholic like, very Catholic but then again, my great uncle was a Catholic priest who ran off to Bermuda with one of his nuns, aggressively got excommunicated, and then married said nun I m not Catholic any being queer does that to a person but I ve read a decent amount about it, so I really thought I knew everything about the Catholic Church But this is an unusual, insider yet outsider take on how the hierarchy works both by prescription and, interestingly, in fact During Pope Benedict s reign, John Thavis was a member of the volo papale the reporters who follow the pope around all day every day This sounds glamorous, especially to Thavis s family and friends in Minnesota, but as he points out, trailing after the pope often has its complications For instance, when Pope Benedict was giving a monumental address, the volo papale were stuck in a traffic jam Thavis actually called his wife and told her to put the pope s speech on television and narrate it so he d have something to write about In another story about the hilarious chaos that is the volo paple, Thavis writes, Once, in Azerbaijan, the government put us in a newly purchased oversized motorcoach that promptly had its roof ripped off at the first underpass outside the airport The driver kept going at full throttle, thinking it was a terrorist attack I died reading this Thavis talks about some of the controversial moments of Pope Benedict s reign like his suggestion that it s morally permissible for HIV sex workers to use condoms and dug into some interesting tensions within the Catholic Church, including the delicate ceasefire with the conservative Catholic branch known as the Lefebvrists, who were opposed to all the changes of Vatican II and who ordained their own bishops against papal law but who were too important to excommunicate Thavis also looks at the church s reaction both public and private to the child abuse scandals of the priesthood that came to prominence during Benedict s reign.Definitely worth a casual read if you re interested in seeing a disinterested account of the inner workings of the powers that be of the Catholic Church.


  8. says:

    This is not an expose of the Vatican but a behind the scenes look The author was a reporter bureau chief for Catholic News Service for over 25 years He did a fair job on being fair but you could tell from his writing that he did not care too much for Pope Benedict, although he did try to understand his motives.The author traveled with the popes John Paul II and Benedict but often being part of the Vatican entourage was a hindrance in reporting and taking photos.I had always thought everyone looking kindly to Pope John Paul II However, if he had one failing it would be his blind eye to the Father Maciel Legions of Christ founder sexual abuse of seminarians He Pope John Paul II did find Father Macial as an immoral man but was quite impressed with the Legions of Christ for ordaining so many priests and for bringing in a lot of much to the church.What did Pope Pius do or think of the Holocaust Was he aware The author tried to shed light on this subject but the real truth is hidden in the Vatican archives Apparently, there is proof that convents did hide Jews in Rome, but what did the Pope know or do In the news recently, Pope Francis has agreed to open the secret Vatican files on this subject The is a lot of disconnect and mistrust between the various departments of the Vatican One department who is in charge of the buildings and facilities wanted to build a new parking garage for staff However, he didn t want museum staff archeologists near the building site because artifacts may be found which would delay the building Yes, while building the Santa Rosa parking garage, they found a well preserved cemetery which had been covered in mud by a mudslide It was so well preserved that you could read in Latin, of course the names and lives of the buried Eventually the archeologists were called in and were able to save a few of the sarcophagi I was surprised to read about the communication disconnect at the Vatican Apparently, the Vatican would re write the speeches for posterity AFTER they had been given Pope Benedict once said in Africa that condoms increase HIV Once Vatican realized the uproar this caused, they had the speech re written to clarify the statement I found this book easy to read and very informative.


  9. says:

    As a Baptist girl with only a few Catholic friends, I felt I had a bit of a blind spot when the world started focusing on Pope Benedict s retirement and the process of selecting a replacement So I turned to this book for a primer.It s a nice look at the fascinating world of the Vatican, from the Pope s diplomatic visits on the papal plane to doctrinal debates that threaten to split the church It explores the personalities of the two most recent popes, and how those led to triumphs and failures Pope John Paul II, I learned, had a flair for the dramatic and often made news, while Pope Benedict was far academic and often came across as cold The former was vulnerable to being duped by cults of personality, while the latter seem disconnected and in some ways lowered the public profile of the church.It also gave a bit of a necropsy into the handling of the sex scandals Thavis tells the story of Fr Marcian Marcial sp , a Mexican priest who started a highly successful new order of the Catholic Church Though he molested dozens of young seminary students, the secrecy policies of the church, and so many leaders who refused to believe such a superstar could be such a sham, led to a shameful cover up It goes to show that everyone needs sunlight and accountability, and nobody should be given unlimited power.Thavis has a bit of a journalist s cynicism, and I get the feeling that he leaned a little too far to the skeptic side I wasn t getting the sense of wonder that I know many most Catholics feel about their faith only the dirt Still, as a journalist, I understand, and enjoyed the book for what it was.A great start for someone curious about everything from the conclave to beatification to the Vatican s diplomacy and interaction with the media You ll even get to peek into the Pope s visit with George W Bush Well worth your time.


  10. says:

    Look into some of the known and less known episodes of the Vatican in the last 20 30 years, quite interesting


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