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Selecting the Pope: Uncovering the Mysteries of Papal Elections Hardcover – March 27, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling / Barnes & Noble; 1 edition (March 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760740321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760740323
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,189,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As Pope John Paul II celebrates his Silver Jubilee this year (making his tenure the third longest in papal history), his apparently failing health has been a concern to many. Speculation abounds about who will succeed him, and when. In Selecting the Pope: Uncovering the Mysteries of Papal Elections, Greg Tobin describes the labyrinthine process of choosing a successor, and even gives some odds for various contenders. The book's second half outlines the complex rules for a papal election and some of the challenges that will face the new pope.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Greg Tobin is a scholar and writer at the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology of Seton Hall University, USA. A former editor and book publishing executive, he has written two novels about the papacy, as well as The Wisdom of St Patrick and Saints and Sinners. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Greg Tobin is publishing director of A.A. World Services. He is the author of multiple titles including Saints and Sinners and Holy Father (a biography of Pope Benedict XVI) and was featured widely in national and international media. He lives in West Orange, New Jersey, with his wife and sons.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very detailed, informative, and has lots of Catholic lexicology but was a bit tedious to read - thankfully less than 130 pages.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Dautremont on July 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For educators or people interested in how the Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church is elected, this is an excellent resource. Easy to read, with charts to inform what happens in the Church from the day the Pope dies until a successor is chosen. Also includes some of the "major players" and what is the criteria that will be used in choosing the next pontiff. Afterword includes the "Apostolic Constitution" written by Pope John Paul II.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Freemason on April 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I finally read this over the past few days and I must confess I'm getting more information out of watching CNN and the networks. Not recommended as your primary source, or secondary actually. But if you have to have every book on this subject, feel free to snap it up.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A well-informed Vatican-watcher, much read in recent weeks, estimates that there are at least six English-language "quickie" books now being written about the election of Benedict XVI, from authors like Fr. Andrew Greeley and the generally more respected journalist John L. Allen. There were a number of "quickie" books produced before the late pontiff's death too, and in the wake of the last month's events their time has largely come and gone. That's definitely the case with "Selecting the Pope" by Greg Tobin.

Produced in 2003, which even then was apparently considered "the waning days of a pontificate" (p. viii), this book gives a rapid thumbnail portrait of the history and roles of the papacy, the various methods of papal election over the centuries, former and current curial law concerning the process, and "the challenges awaiting the next pope." If that seems like a lot of ground to cover in just over 100 pages, you're right. In fact, if you were or still are interested in more than the most cursory overview of these questions, there are significantly more in-depth references than this one. Personally, I would start by pointing you to the works of the aforementioned John L. Allen.

As a whirlwind guide to the processes to be used (or, that were used) in the election of the pope to follow John Paul II, this is an adequate though far from exceptional resource. There's nothing especially wrong here, and if all you're looking for is a rapid explanation of what happened and why, this is a good enough place to start. It's definitely a fairly quick read (and probably didn't take too long to write, either).
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By virginia Mazza on February 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book is very sketchy with respect to details and the important history of the Catholic church and the middle ages. The author spends little ink on the history of the papacy during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The "selection" of the pope during those tumultuous years was indeed a very different process compared to the section during the 19th and 20th centuries! The authior seems to concentrate and details the process during these later centuries and seems to gloss over the middle ages when the Catholic Church ruled not only the Vatican, but also the Governments of virtually all Europe. For a more accurate and detailed account of how the popes were "selected" during the middle ages (3 centuries), I would recommend Wm Manchester's history of the middle ages "A World Lit By Only Fire". This is an unbias account of the papacy during the middle ages and how it shaped the future of the Catholic Religion.
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