Description : Pontiff unravels one of the last unexamined mysteries of the modern world The Vatican has remained one of the last unexamined mysteries of the modern world. For centuries, pomp and pageantry have hidden from view the dramatic, sometimes sinister, realities that haunt the office of Supreme Pontiff and the men who make up his papacy. Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts now bring their tremendous investigative talent to this most secret of institutions, offering us an unrivaled portrait and day-to-day account of the lives, personalities, and relationships of the three most recent popes: an equally fine account of the hour-by-hour deliberations of the closely guarded conclaves at which two popes were elected in the fateful year of 1978; and a remarkable rendering of the concrete issues facing the institutional papacy—in foreign affairs, economic matters, and the human factor—the highly individual ambitions, loyalties, and hatreds that characterize the men and women who serve the Holy Father. The result is a book that is ahead of the world’s headlines, a book that makes headlines of its own. Not only have the authors brought the world of the Vatican into the open, their sleuthing has uncovered several major news stories. Pontiff includes a day-to-day account of the assassination attempt by Mehmet Ali Agca upon John Paul II: Agca’s history and family, his right-wing political connections, his activities and jailing in Turkey, his escape from jail aided by the KGB, his movements through terrorist training camps in Libya and Syria, and a complete investigation of the Bulgarian connection that led to the shooting in St. Peter’s Square. Here, also, is the story of John Paul II’s involvement with the creation of Solidarity in Poland, and his almost-daily secret contacts with Lech Walesa, as well as the unprecedented letter to Brezhev threatening his resignation from the papal throne. In addition, owing to the authors’ intricate web of connections at the Vatican (including many cardinals), the book contains previously unknown information about the man entrusted with the Church’s money, Paul Marcinkus, and his relationship with the shadowy Michele Sindona. Pontiff is a fascinating revelation of a world previously unknown to us, and an intimate view of a few men in Rome trying to lead an increasingly unwilling world to their own vision of salvation.
Description : This is the story of my dismissal as the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Toowoomba, in Queensland, Australia. It relates, from my perspective, the dealings I had with various Congregations (Dicasteries) of the Vaticans Curia in Rome and with certain cardinals and officials in those Congregations, as well as with Pope Benedict XVI, regarding pastoral activities and a letter I wrote to the diocese in Advent of 2006 while the Bishop of Toowoomba. The book details the background and events which led to my being asked by Pope Benedict XVI to resign as Bishop of Toowoomba when I had a meeting with him in Rome on the 4th of June 2009. I did not agree to resign, but negotiated with Pope Benedict to take early retirement which was announced on 2 May 2011. The book is accompanied by various Appendices of documents and letters from this period, including several letters from cardinals in Rome and the pope. Some of the documents and the Appendices have already been published in various places or are in the public domain in some way. They are published here again so that these documents are all in one place. The book has been written to give the story from my perspective of what happened in the lead up to my taking early retirement after refusing to resign. In the view of a number of civil lawyers, canon lawyers and theologians, both here in Australia and overseas, I was deprived of natural justice as I was in no way able to appeal the judgments or decisions that were made in these circumstances. This was made clear to me by the three cardinals in Rome with whom I had most contact over the time and by Pope Benedict XVI himself.
Description : A History of the Popes tells the story of the oldest living institution in the Western world—the papacy. From its origins in Saint Peter, Jesus' chief disciple, through Pope Benedict XVI today, the popes have been key players in virtually all of the great dramas of the western world in the last two thousand years. Acclaimed church historian John W. O'Malley's engaging narrative examines the 265 individuals who have claimed to be Peter's successors. Rather than describe each pope one by one, the book focuses on the popes that shaped pivotal moments in both church and world history. The author does not shy away from controversies in the church, and includes legends like Pope Joan and a comprehensive list of popes and antipopes to help readers get a full picture of the papacy. This simultaneously reverent yet critical book will appeal to readers interested in both religion and history as it chronicles the saints and sinners who have led the Roman Catholic Church over the past 2000 years. The author draws from his popular audio CD lecture series on the topic, 2,000 Years of Papal History, available through Now You Know Media (www.nowyouknowmedia.com).
Description : This book tackles almost every question posed in April 2005 during the dying and death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI.
Description : Following Cardinal Basil Hume's death on 17 June 1999, The Times concluded his obituary with a remarkable accolade: 'Few churchman in this century, inside or outside the Catholic Church, have died more deeply loved.' Basil Hume served as Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster for twenty-three years and his holiness and wisdom made him an extraordinary leader. In this enthralling biography, Anthony Howard, who has had unique access to Cardinal Hume's private papers and the people who knew him best, traces his life, from his Newcastle upbringing through to his schooling at Ampleforth and his reign at Westminster, including his long and ultimately successful fight on behalf of the Maguire Seven and the Guildford Four.
Description : Coppa provides the first full-length study of Giacomo Antonelli, friend and advisor to Pope Pius IX (Pio Nono) and his Secretary of State and chief minister from 1849 to 1876. Based on the documents of the secret Vatican Archives, and neglected family papers in the State Archive in Rome, the book gives an important reevaluation of this key diplomatic figure, separating the man from the myth and delving into his character and policies. The book examines both the personality and policies of the Cardinal, who was seen to be the Pope’s Richelieu and Mazarin combined. Confronting the polemical literature which has charged him with sexual misconduct and venality, the study examines his early formation and career, the inspiration for his European policies, his relationship to Pio Nono, and the part he played in the Counter-Risorgimento and the Papal reaction. By improving our understanding of Papal, Italian, and European developments during these crucial decades, this study provides new insights into Rome’s fortress mentality and its rejection of the main currents that were transforming western life— currents that influenced not only the Catholic Church but European society as a whole.