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The Trial of Pope Benedict: Joseph Ratzinger and the Vatican's Assault on Reason, Compassion, and Human Dignity Paperback – June 18, 2013
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A must-read indictment of one of the most powerful, reactionary, and secretive organizations in the world. Gawthrop's insightful investigation of a man whose ideas have ruled the Catholic Church for the better part of the last half-century nicely skewers the Ratzingerian mindset--and is all the more devastating, coming from a former member of the flock.
―Stan Persky, author of Then We Take Berlin and The Short Version: An ABC Book (Stan Persky 2013-03-21)
Heartbreaking and magisterial ... If Gawthrop's tone is tempered by generosity and compassion, it is because this is what you should expect from a work that is also the memoir of a Roman Catholic atheist (there is such a thing). The Trial is written for everyone: for the free-thinker and for the faithful, and mostly, for the countless millions of obscurantism's victims.
―Terry Glavin, author of Come from the Shadows and Waiting for the Macaws (Terry Glavin 2013-04-30)
A strong, clear exposition of the case against the former pope and an intelligent reflection on the lost opportunities of Vatican II. It is a book that will engage and inform all readers, no matter where or whether they worship.
―Vancouver Sun (Vancouver Sun 2013-06-21)
An informative and damning account.
―The Stranger (The Stranger 2013-07-01)
In the same spirit of j'accuse journalism as Christopher Hitchens' The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Daniel Gawthrop takes on the legacy of the recently retired Pope Benedict XVI (né Joseph Ratzinger) in an impassioned broadside that takes readers through a laundry list of scandal and sin ... [Gawthrop] shines a welcome light into some of the darker corners of the Vatican while making a strong case for greater openness and reform.
―Quill and Quire (Quill and Quire 2013-08-19)
A damning indictment ... The writer recounts in exhaustive detail the litany of misdeeds perpetrated by the Vatican under this particular pope, the first to resign in centuries.
―Gay and Lesbian Review (Gay and Lesbian Review 2013-09-25)
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My thanks to him for his mention of my brother Anthony deMello, whom Cardinal Ratzinger attempted to silence by way of the infamous notification in 1998. Daniel, have you read The Happy Wanderer? It's a biography I wrote and published in April 2012 to commemorate 25 years of his passing. It is available on Amazon.com
Ratzinger had a dogged obsession maintaining his brand of orthodoxy and airtight conservatism, often overshadowing John Paul in meanness and crackdowns on any who sought to raise the hope of reform and renewal. Countless intellectuals in the church was slapped down and stripped of jobs and credentials. Shame on these popes.
It was upon hearing an interview of Daniel Gawthrop on Phoenix Radio KTAR (92.3 FM) on June 30 by host Pat McMahon that prompted me to immediately order "The Trial."
I found Gawthrop reasonable and informed about Pope Benedict. He carefully laid out the case of corruption, duplicity, thoughtless disregard for women and a litany of failed leadership. I am amazed that Catholics in the pews are so oblivious to how their church has been hijacked by the Curia and have not spoken out about the rigidity and cruelty to women, gays and other subgroups. Gawhrop really chronicled controversy after controversy. I was especially unaware of the peculiar politics that allowed for the Vatican to become uniquely a nation-state.
Catholics need this book to wake up to the fact that any institution so large and powerful, run by elderly conservative males denied normal sexual expression, is going to grow toxic, ineffective and corrupt. Now more than ever, the church needs to make historical changes, starting with sharing leadership with women and married people. Gawthrop's book is long overdue.