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The Global Vatican: An Inside Look at the Catholic Church, World Politics, and the Extraordinary Relationship between the United States and the Holy See Hardcover – November 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 12.2.2013 edition (November 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442223618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442223615
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rooney, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See from 2005 to 2008, has written a history of U.S.-Vatican diplomacy from the founding of this country to the present day. Given that both the U.S. and the Catholic Church have at their foundations the idea that human beings are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, it may seem odd that full diplomatic relations were first established by President Reagan in 1984. Rooney explains this by recounting the history of both anti-Catholic sentiment in this country and the church’s suspicions about a democracy born of the Enlightenment. More than a mere history, his book includes personal observations. Rooney contends that the U.S. has much to gain from a close diplomatic relationship with the Holy See. As a Catholic, he is clearly sympathetic to the church, but he argues convincingly of its importance on the world stage. Replete with tales of espionage and historical anecdotes, Rooney’s eminently readable work warrants attention. --Christopher McConnell

Review

The Internet is chock full of websites spouting conspiracy theories about the Vatican’s influence on world affairs. Rooney, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, offers a true insider’s view into the complex world of the Vatican and the history of its relationship with America. President Ronald Reagan established diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1984, more than 200 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Rooney’s brilliant historical analysis illustrates how long-held biases on both sides prevented any movement toward official ties between these two great powers prior to the late 20th century. The author also provides an exceptional historical account of the life of John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop of the United States. Most fascinating are the personal glimpses that Rooney offers into his interactions with Vatican officials and even the pope himself—always humble and respectful, but also with an eye toward the ever-present politics involved. This is a fascinating study of how political and religious powers relate, clash and, when healthy, work to help change the world for the better. (Publishers Weekly)

Rooney, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See from 2005 to 2008, has written a history of U.S.-Vatican diplomacy from the founding of this country to the present day. Given that both the U.S. and the Catholic Church have at their foundations the idea that human beings are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, it may seem odd that full diplomatic relations were first established by President Reagan in 1984. Rooney explains this by recounting the history of both anti-Catholic sentiment in this country and the church’s suspicions about a democracy born of the Enlightenment. More than a mere history, his book includes personal observations. Rooney contends that the U.S. has much to gain from a close diplomatic relationship with the Holy See. As a Catholic, he is clearly sympathetic to the church, but he argues convincingly of its importance on the world stage. Replete with espionage and historical anecdotes, Rooney’s eminently readable work warrants attention. (Booklist)

Rooney’s history of Vatican diplomacy is both colorful and factual...The Global Vatican is a useful and informative volume, and the extensive bibliography shows the author has read widely and deeply. (Voice of Reason)

Well written and readable, the book provides a solid updated bibliography enriched by a wide range of interviews that include high-level Vatican officials and church observers. Moreover, thanks to a well-designed structure, Rooney accomplishes the goal of appealing to both a general audience and experts in the field. . . .Part memoir part historical essay, the volume captures the braided nature of religious and political power and the complexities, battles, and future prospects for the relationship between the Holy See and the United States as both face challenges old and new. (Theological Studies)

Francis Rooney deftly blends history with current events, erudite analysis with warm anecdotes in The Global Vatican. His fascinating book details the incredible history of U.S.-Vatican diplomacy since America’s inception. This book serves as a reminder to the far-reaching influence of two superpowers, the United States and the Vatican. All governments are advised to take into calculation the extraordinary influence of the Vatican at a time when people power compared to state power has achieved new preeminence. (David M. Abshire, former US Ambassador to NATO and Special Counselor to President Reagan)

In this book Ambassador Rooney has provided a comprehensive historical context to the Holy See’s contemporary foreign policy. As the United States Ambassador at the Holy See, Francis was uniquely placed to publish this book and to capture the essence of the Holy See in international diplomacy. In an increasingly networked world the Holy See with its global spread (which touches 18% of the world’s population) warrants serious analysis. Ambassador Rooney has done that in this text and has shown how the Holy See’s interests were transformed in the 20th century from a somewhat limited European dimension to fully global perspectives. Diplomatic relations with the Holy See do not simply exist on the international legal, diplomatic or political spheres. Because of the size of the Catholic population in many countries the relationship is part domestic and this perhaps is nowhere more evident than in the United States which is now home to the world’s third largest Catholic population. For anyone interested in faith and diplomacy, religion and foreign policy or the practice of diplomacy, Ambassador Rooney’s work provides an insight into quite a unique diplomatic relationship between the US and the Holy See and also between a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power, and is well worth the read. (Francis Campbell, Her Majesty’s ambassador to the Holy See, 2005-2011; Deputy High Commissioner, Pakistan, 2011-2013; Head of the Policy Unit in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Ambassador Rooney's study of the United States' diplomatic relationship to the Vatican has given us a thoughtful and well researched analysis of a significant element in Papal Diplomacy. His style makes it easy to read, yet it contains important insights bringing new light to a fascinating part of history. Students of the Church and of American history will find this book both interesting and useful. (Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth V. Courtney on June 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting and well researched. A good review of history from many viewpoints. I would like to order another copy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book, by Ambassador Francis Rooney, presents a wonderful insight into the role of the Vatican in world diplomacy, as well as wonderful insider views on the history of the World in the twentieth century. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Great and broad-reaching book for anyone interested in modern diplomacy or the history of the Catholic Church. The exploration of the relationship between American founding principles and Catholic doctrine-- and why it took so long for the USA and the Church to cooperate-- is fascinating and illuminating. Really well written.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By webwiz99 on November 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written and readable. It is a highly interesting narrative of the Holy See's
impact on international relations and its certain symmetry of values with those
America stands for. The quality of the writing is quite exceptional.

It is not a book about how "I loved being ambassador." It is about how the
Ambassador involved himself in representing the United States and its
interests to the Vatican and vice-versa. For anyone interested in the
Catholic Church, diplomacy and moral values leading societies, it is "must" reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the book! What a great Hiatory of U.S. Papal relations.. I learned a lot..
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerald on January 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THIS BOOK GIVES WONDERFUL INSIGHTS INTO THE HISTORY OF THE Vatican and its influence throughout the world. RECOMMENDED FOR ALL THOSE SEEKING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
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