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101 Questions & Answers on Popes and the Papacy (Responses to 101 Questions) Paperback – May, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Bellitto is assistant professor of history at Kean University in Union, NJ. He is the author of the companion volumes, Renewing Christianity: A History of Church Reform from Day One to Vatican II (Paulist Press, 2001) and The General Councils: A History of the 21 Church Councils from Nicaea to Vatican II (Paulist Press, 2002). His most recent book is Ten Ways the Church Has Changed (Pauline Books and Media, 2006).
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Product Details

  • Series: Responses to 101 Questions
  • Paperback: 177 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr (May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809145162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809145164
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By andris virsnieks on August 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
My curiosity about the Papacy is limited. The 101 Questions & Answers allowed me zero in on my area of interest without having to wade through all 150 pages. The answers I read were concise and as far as I can judge; objective
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy Maxwell on March 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written in the aftermath of the election of Benedict XVI and published in 2008 and it would be interesting to know how this book would be different in light of the election of Pope Francis(note the date of this review) who has been called "the pope of firsts" for all the reasons we are becoming tired of hearing about.

"101 Questions and Answers on Popes and the Papacy" by Christopher M. Bellitto takes a comprehensive approach to questions about the papacy and, although the largest section of the book(Q.6-44) deals with church history, this is not a history book as it delves into the process of electing a pope, the various traditions and vestments of the papacy, theological concerns, and the role of the pope in the church. Q.53 is particularly helpful in explaining the idea of "papal infalliability."

This book is the 28th volume of Paulist Press' "101 Questions" series and Dr. Bellitto holds true to the two main aspects of the series. The first is that the questions he asks himself are the one's most frequently asked of him in his teaching. The second is that he explains his subject on its own terms and manages to do so without whitewashing the past. If recent events have aroused your interest in the papacy, this book is a valuable introductory resource.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been looking for a book like this. I want to read more about the popes and this is it.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am as interested in the facts provided by this fine book on the papacy as in its point of view. The facts, as provided by Chris Bellitto's answers about the papacy, are historical and accurate. The spin, on the other hand, is exactly what one would expect from a historian of integrity who happens to teach at a Catholic college -- careful and unlikely to tread the toes of his sponsors. Take the author's answer as to whether Peter was the first pope. Uncritical and fundie Catholics would give a resounding "Yes!" to the question, citing Jesus's famous granting of the keys to Peter in Matthew 16:19. Writers antithetical to the church or the unitary papacy would give a strong "No!" citing the lack of church offices--especially ordained ones-- in the early church. Bellitto the Catholic teacher gives us a "yes" while his historian self gives us "but not the way we think of it now." While this equivocal answer may please some, I found it a little disingenuous. Why maintain the fiction of Peter's papacy when one can retain Peter's primacy without opposing history and scripture to boot?

If you love good history, but choose not to stray beyond the framework wrought by Catholics to defend their view of the papacy, then "101 Questions" will be a satisfying read.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Manley VINE VOICE on February 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you are reading this book from a Catholic perspective this book is the perfect book for you. If you are reading this book from an unbiased historical perspective, this is not the book for you. Both the questions and the answers are clearly from the Catholic theological point of view. I was personally hoping for a book that had unbiased factual information that did not slant too in favor of the Catholic church and one that did not slant too far the other way. This was an extremely disappointing book for me.

It should be said that if you are looking for answers about the Papacy from the Catholic fundamentalist point of view, pick up this book, this will be a wonderful read. This book does have a great deal of information about Pope John Paul II, which I found to be endearing at times. Again, this book may or may not be for you, if you are looking for a historical perspective, pick up something else.
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