Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $5.24 shipping
All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks Hardcover – July 13, 2004
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Allen, the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and analyst for CNN and National Public Radio, offers an authoritative guide to the church's inner workings. Far from sensationalistic, this book provides a carefully balanced view of how the Catholic Church works—and sometimes doesn't—in the modern world. Allen, who is Catholic himself but does not see himself as a missionary or apologist for the church, is a fair and thorough reporter of ecclesial affairs who drew on four-plus years of covering the Vatican as well as 35 interviews with officials in the church bureaucracy to write this book. He begins with an overview of the Vatican, then debunks five myths—including, notably, the idea that power is concentrated solely in the Pope and that the Vatican is fantastically wealthy. In talking about the myth and reality of Vatican secrecy, Allen lays out the basis for his book: that the Vatican's psychology and culture are difficult for people, even most Catholics, to grasp, resulting in miscommunication and animosity toward the church. Allen also delves into Vatican psychology, sociology and theology before concluding with lengthy chronologies detailing the Vatican's role in the American sexual abuse crisis and the war in Iraq.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Praise for John L. Allen, Jr.’s Conclave:
“An invaluable primer…highly informative.” -- Washington Post
“Definitely a winner.” --Minneapolis Star Tribune
“It’s surprising how much you learn from this book…[Allen] explain[s] the process in an engaging way, and offers history, context, and his own list of front-runners.” --Arizona Republic
“Conclave offers something for everyone. Insiders who are knowledgeable about Vatican politics will relish the detail that Allen…delves into when describing the process and the personalities that will elect the next pope. Those who are baffled by the arcane traditions of Roman Catholicism will understand better how this ancient institution functions. The curious will have a context within which to understand why the cardinals choose a pope with a certain theological and political bent.” --National Catholic Reporter
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
by John L. Allen, Jr.
New York: Doubleday, 2004
Review by Reverend Brian Van Hove, S.J.
Published in The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, 28: 2 (Summer 2005) 45-46
We have heard the expression "fair and balanced." John L. Allen, Jr., in this book about the Roman Curia has accomplished just that, despite working for the National Catholic Reporter. He claims to be a mediator between two cultures, that of the Holy See, which he tries to interpret in a professional way, and that of the English-speaking world.
How much Mr. Allen should be believed is, of course, up to you the reader, but genuine notes of sympathy for the Vatican's way of life punctuate this story.
This book is not an exploration of structures, but an exposition of thinking, a more subtle task, if not nearly impossible. If anything, the author seems indifferent about ecclesiastical issues which for others of us in the church are vital and passionate. But his hope is that the Vatican will evolve in the direction of more transparency, to avoid misunderstanding and needless friction. He is no pope-basher. His goal is harmony. The chapter on "Vatican Psychology" is particularly rewarding and helpful.
All the Pope's Men is timely. When in 2004-2005 we saw the pope weakening physically, his assistants naturally were delegated more and more of the burden of the governance of the universal church. Allen writes about them from the experience of many conversations and interviews in Rome where he is stationed, unlike some other "fly in" journalists who come for an occasion.
Throughout church history, and especially since the Reformation, curialists have been reviled for real or imagined practices. Allen is generally positive about the men and women who serve the church in Rome. He hopes he has gotten to get "inside their minds" and has interpreted their minds to promote genuine understanding of a unique culture that is very different from Anglo-Saxon efficiency and the corporate approach. Just because something is different does not make it suspect. Perhaps he wishes to say with Sir Winston Churchill's remark about democracy, that "our system may be bad, but all the others are worse."
The author lists five top myths which must dealt with. These are "The" Vatican, Who's in Charge, Vatican Secrecy, Vatican Wealth, and Climbing the Career Ladder. In short, we learn that the voices in the curia are less than unified, that there is more decentralization than many suspected, that there is a genuine openness that can be contrasted with traditional allegations of secrecy, that Vatican finances are actually quite modest in scope, and that many who work in the curia are quite humble and obscure.
The last half of the book is an application of what we have learned to two American situations: the clergy abuse scandals and the war in Iraq. Here he shows that neither the Vatican nor the Americans are wrong, nor are they both always right. There is genuine goodwill on both sides, and genuine misunderstandings occur on both sides. The Vatican often sees "the big picture" while the United States sees rather its own particular needs. The Vatican is sympathetic toward America, but at the same time rejects the "secularized Protestantism" which America represents. The Vatican mistrusts the unilateralism which the American superpower exercises in the world. Allen ends by saying "the relationship between Rome and Washington seems destined to be complex and sometimes strained." But we take away from this statement a fresh understanding of how this can be, an appreciation for those complexities, and for this much alone the book is to be recommended.