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Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII Hardcover – June 10, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Joseph P. Hurley, though a little-known figure, was at the center of many intriguing diplomatic episodes. Gallagher tells his story with gusto and makes worthwhile contributions to scholarship."—James O'Toole, Boston College

(James O'Toole)

"Gallagher's research on the Father Coughlin controversy and the 'Stepinac Affair' is particularly interesting and rewarding."—Roy Domenico, University of Scranton
(Roy Domenico)

"[This] volume deserves a special place on the shelf of American religious history."—Michael Gannon, St. Augustine Record
(Michael Gannon St. Augustine Record 2008-08-01)

"[E]ngaging, well-written, and well researched . . . The story is fascinating, and Gallagher delivers a first-rate book."—Beth A. Griech-Polelle, Journal of Cold War Studies
(Beth A. Griech-Polelle Journal of Cold War Studies)

About the Author

Charles R. Gallagher is currently engaged in theological studies at Heythrop College, University of London. He is the author of Cross and Crozier: A History of Catholicism in the Diocese of St. Augustine.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300121342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300121346
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,608,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Thomas J. Burns VINE VOICE on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Every so often a bolt of ecclesiastical lightning from above transforms an ordinary parish cleric into a man of considerable influence within the Church. In the case of Joseph P. Hurley, the transformation also rendered him an international player in the delicate era of World War II and the Cold War. Charles R. Gallagher meticulously traces the remarkable and controversial career of this American priest, born January 21, 1894 and destined, it seemed, to serve his days from his 1919 ordination in the Diocese of Cleveland.

Hurley was no typical cleric, though. His first choice had been West Point, where he was refused admission. During his seminary days Hurley would meet the man who hurled thunderbolts of opportunity his way, Edward Mooney, Cardinal Archbishop of Detroit. Young Mooney, an early seminary professor of Hurley's, fell out of favor with Cleveland's German bishop, became Hurley's pastor, much to the latter's pleasure.

Under the guise of a "medical leave" Hurley took studies in Europe just as his mentor Mooney became Apostolic Delegate to India, and eventually Hurley became Mooney's secretary. Watching Mooney negotiate on behalf of the Church, Hurley adopted a pugnacious diplomatic style that would serve him with varying degrees of success throughout his career. Hurley eventually became charge d'affaires of the Vatican's Japanese mission in 1933. Hurley's impressions of the militarist, totalitarian Japanese government strengthened his contempt of authoritarian regimes.

By 1934 Hurley, now in the nexus of Vatican planning, was named to the office of Vatican Secretary of State under Cardinal Ottaviani, and by 1936 he was the main conduit to the pope on affairs in the United States, religious and secular.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jason T. Eberl on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Fr. Gallagher has chosen a worthy subject of historical study in the person of Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley. While this contribution to historical scholarship of the Vatican during the rise of both Nazism and Communism does not shed much additional light on the controversial figure of Pope Pius XII, Archbishop Hurley provides an illuminating focal point for analyzing not only U.S.-Vatican diplomatic relations (an intriguing topic in its own right), but even more so American Catholic attitudes toward U.S. intervention in the Second World War prior to Pearl Harbor and the rampant anticommunism which followed the war. More than anything, Fr. Gallagher's careful--and highly readable--reconstruction of Archbishop Hurley's change of attitudes over the years regarding Catholic-Jewish relations and the push-and-pull of his sometimes contrasting allegiances to Church and State provide a mirror to the many changes in socio-political attitudes that continue to characterize modern American society. Perhaps one lesson to draw from studying the times of Archbishop Hurley and the adventures in which he played a significant role is that it is sometimes better to take the long-view that the Vatican often does and think in epochs, as opposed to focusing on only the immediate concerns of the day. Yet, such temporally extended thinking should not cause one simply to stand by and wait for history to "work itself out"; and thus Archbishop Hurley can serve as a model, sometimes flawed, of a religious "man of action."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hammurabi on February 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An astonishingly detailed account of a Vatican diplomat at a difficult time for both the U.S. and the Church. Archbishop Hurley was an enigma in many ways, to both those of us who (thought we) knew him, and the many other groups with whom he had, or did not have dealings, including the Jewish and African-American communities. He was an unsung, if controversial intellectual among both the American hierarchy and the Vatican diplomats and minions, with whom he frequently crossed swords. What other surprises are still to be mined from the sealed Vatican Archives?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William J. Shepherd on April 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Based upon his 1998 doctoral dissertation, Charles Gallagher has given us an excellent and fascinating account of the life of Joseph Hurley, Bishop of St. Augustine, who was also a noted diplomat and activist in the fight against both fascism and communism. Hurley was a man who uniquely straddled the bounds of church and state as he fought to protect his country, his church, and the world from the violent extremism of right and left, though he was a true Conservative to the end of his remarkable career.
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