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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 | [John Thavis]

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

For more than 25 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.
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Publisher's Summary

A revealing inside look at one of the world’s most powerful and mysterious institutions

For more than 25 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 listeners 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 more.

Perceptive, sharply written, and witty, The Vatican Diaries will appeal not only to Catholics - lapsed as well as devout - but to anyone interested in international diplomacy and the role of religion in an increasingly secularized world.

©2013 John Thavis (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A seasoned reporter on the Vatican beat takes us for an irreverent and revealing visit. Frequently from the vantage of the reportorial fly on the wall, Thavis…concentrates on the history he has witnessed firsthand.… Especially provocative are the chapters dealing with the mismanagement of diverse sex scandals and, finally, an appraisal of the opaque personality of Benedict.… Not only provocative, this report is illuminating and fully accessible to members of the faith and doubters alike." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Thavis’ anecdotal presentation will appeal to readers seeking understanding of or connection with the Catholic Church’s heart. This book is recommended for anyone who would like to challenge their own notions and perceptions of the Vatican." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Frank RALEIGH, NC, United States 03-22-13
    Frank RALEIGH, NC, United States 03-22-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Who among you can cast the first stone??"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This audio book is like listening to National Enquirer level journalism, filled with opinions, presumption, and gossip. I expected to hear some credible new ‘vatileaks’ info presented in a rational manner, but instead received old information combined with gossip and secular opinions. If you listen to this book, you’d constantly notice how journalist John Thavin stretches bits of information, leaves out pertinent facts, and attempts to misrepresent the Church.

    For example, Thavin portrays the Catholic Church as a system of injustice and sexual crimes by using the sins of a handful of bad priests, gossip, and various opinions to lead the reader into thinking that the majority of priests must be gay or sexual predators. But in his book, he downplays the 2008 US government report that only 0.03% of priests were involved in pedophilia cases, he downplays the fact that gay priests can no longer be ordained, he does not mention the German criminologist report that 99.9% of sexual abuse crimes come from outside the Catholic Church, and he does not mention the Protestant Christian Science Monitor report that protestant denominations are affected by a much higher rate of pedophilia cases than those in the Catholic Church.

    Anyway, the Catholic Church is looking really good as we make the necessary changes to prevent those individual incidents from happening again.. If you go to the Vatican you will see all that the Catholic Church is actively doing to prevent future incidents, and help victims (none of which are discussed in the book). In other words, if you are looking for facts and a well balanced constructive analysis you'd be better off doing a Google search… Have faith!


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian cincinnati, OH, United States 07-21-14
    brian cincinnati, OH, United States 07-21-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Some Truth behind the spin."
    Where does The Vatican Diaries rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a very fine book, but not one of my favorites.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Vatican Diaries?

    Several. Some funny moments with the press getting stranded or something else happening to them on state visits, and the testimonies in chapter 3 against the LC's founder creeped me out.


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    He's okay with accents, but not that great.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The contrast between Pope John Paul the Second's and Benidict the 16th in personality.


    Any additional comments?

    No other comments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Mcglynn Culver City, CA 04-14-14
    Maureen Mcglynn Culver City, CA 04-14-14 Member Since 2013

    Mobri

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    "Fascinating and riveting."
    If you could sum up The Vatican Diaries in three words, what would they be?

    Fascintaing. Riveting. Illuminating.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning about the inner workings and politics of the Vatican kept me tuned in to this book. I didn't want to unplug!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Conroe, TX, United States 03-26-13
    Gail Conroe, TX, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Eye opening! Catholicism brought to Earth."
    What made the experience of listening to The Vatican Diaries the most enjoyable?

    I wish we had been taught the truth in porocial school so that when we started in public school we could have had better information to defend our beliefs. Time for God to do some house cleaning.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and did several times!


    Any additional comments?

    Just proves that on Earth ALL are human. You have to get to the debth of the church to find the good and the way Jesus meant His word to be told and used.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles USA 03-14-13
    Charles USA 03-14-13 Member Since 2008

    Wonderchuck

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    "Behind the scenes?"

    Pope Benedict's resignation sparked my interest on this topic, and I got this book to help me understand what internal challenges the Catholic church is facing. It did give me a better feel for some of the personalities; my sympathy for Pope Benedict has been augmented. I did not feel, however, that any of the information was 'behind the scenes'. I felt like most of the book was less about the Vatican and more about reporting on the Catholic church. It's something of a Vatican journalist's travelogue in places. On the plus side, I felt like the author was not looking to excoriate or embarrass, and is probably even a little sympathetic to the church. In the end I am slightly less cynical about the power structure in Rome.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Boise, ID, United States 03-11-13
    Margaret Boise, ID, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    "The Vatican Diaries"

    An interesting listen, although I didn't always like what I heard. It is a miracle the Catholic Church has survived so many years; I imagine the Holy Spirit to have rolled his eyes more often than not.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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