We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
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.
Regular Price:$23.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (177 )
5 star
 (55)
4 star
 (72)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
3.9 (153 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
 (51)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.1 (158 )
5 star
 (65)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (30)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 07-02-14
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 07-02-14 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1055
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    472
    258
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    130
    34
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating stuff!"

    I had expected a bit more on the current crisis the Vatican is facing, that of priests as molesters. While it was addressed on a limited basis, after reflection, I realized that it would be extremely difficult for any author to really know the extent and ins and outs of this apparently longstanding problem due to various obvious issues.

    That being said, I very much enjoyed this listen. I never thought much about the politics of the Vatican or the encompassing power struggles going on in the Church at any time. This book was quite an eye opener for me and interesting all the way through. It addresses many current issues in a neutral, non-biased fashion.

    Hillgartner does an excellent narration. Over all, I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the workings and politics of the Vatican.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles USA 03-14-13
    Charles USA 03-14-13 Member Since 2008

    Wonderchuck

    HELPFUL VOTES
    165
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    346
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 03-11-13
    Margaret 03-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 02-15-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great insight"

    I just got this book on a whim and didn't expect much but wow. thus author will teach you a lot of insider things you otherwise wouldn't know. a must have

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian 07-21-14
    brian 07-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    135
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    160
    160
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Mcglynn 04-14-14

    Mobri

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Conroe, TX, United States 03-26-13
    Gail Conroe, TX, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.