On a whim I put in to receive “The Vatican Diaries” by John Thavis from Net Galley. Little did I know that Pope Benedict XVI was about to resign his position as Pontiff! As a lifelong Catholic, I thought I would find the insider’s look at the vatican interesting. What a fascinating read this was!
Just published last week, “The Vatican Diaries” (which is subtitled “A Behind the Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church) chronicles a variety of events and issues spanning the last thirty years. Author John Thavis was a key reporter for the Catholic News Service and spent many years inside the Vatican. His stories range from how the bells are rung when a new Pope is chosen to the sex scandal and how it was handled to some interesting characters and their personalities. Throughout his stories, which are deemed fact not fiction, the inner workings of the Vatican are revealed – the personalities and conflicts, the gossip and infighting, the lack of organization and cohesion. At times over the years the Vatican has made statements — or I should say has been quoted — and I’ve thought, “Wait – what??” This book showed some of these circumstances and how/why they came about.
I found this book fascinating. In light of Pope Benedict’s departure it is even more timely. As a Catholic I found interesting, but I think non-Catholics would find it interesting, too. Politics, power, religion, and relationships – truth can be stranger than fiction!
Thank you, Net Galley and Viking for my copy!