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Pope Francis among the wolves : the inside story of a revolution
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Catholic Church
Religious leaders
Social conditions
Religion and politics
Argentina - South America
Vatican City - Europe
- International
Time Period
1936-2010s -- 20th-21st century
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  Library Journal Review

There is a legend that St. Francis of Assisi once tamed a ferocious wolf with his words. Figuratively speaking, Pope Francis faces a multitude of similarly fierce wolves, and his ability to tame them into submission is yet to be determined. In the first two years of his pontificate, Pope Francis's simplicity, idiosyncratic style, and warm pastoral approach have been a breath of fresh air, capturing the world's imagination and generating significant media attention. At the same time, he faces adversaries within the Catholic hierarchy, particularly within the Roman Curia. Journalist and Vatican insider Politi draws upon a vast wealth of sources, including many not widely available in English, to describe the underpinnings of Vatican politics. Beginning with the extraordinary resignation of Pope Benedict XI, Politi delves into church topics such as the sexual abuse and financial scandals, the roles of women and the laity, and family issues, including divorced and remarried couples. VERDICT This book is well translated and accessible to a wide audience of Francis's admirers and opponents, both inside and outside of the Catholic Church.-Brian Sullivan, Alfred Univ. Lib., NY © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Vaticanista Politi (His Holiness) is one of a cadre of Italian journalists who have spent their professional lives watching popes come, go, and pronounce. Unlike ostensibly neutral American journalists, Politi makes his pro-Francis sympathies clear. He knows the home team of Italian prelates and politicians who give the Vatican its immediate national context. His chapter on the Vatican Bank and its scandals is especially helpful, though it requires close reading if one is unfamiliar with the institutions and people involved. He's much less familiar with Francis's 40 years of serving the church in Argentina, but has gone there to interview those who worked with him during that part of his career. Politi's well-sourced reporting is evident in voluminous notes, citing enough reporters, sources, and internal intrigue to provide grist for a variety of interpretations of Francsis's first two years as pope. Politi certainly delivers on the subtitle's promise of a look inside the byzantine halls of the institutional Catholic Church. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Marco Politi takes us deep inside the power struggle roiling the Roman Curia and the Catholic Church worldwide, beginning with Benedict XVI, the pope who famously resigned in 2013, and intensifying with the contested and unexpected election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, now known as Pope Francis. Politi's account balances the perspectives of Pope Francis's supporters, Benedict's sympathizers, and those disappointed members of the Catholic laity who feel alienated by the institution's secrecy, financial corruption, and refusal to modernize.<br> <br> Politi dramatically recounts the sexual scandals that have rocked the church and the accusations of money laundering and other financial misdeeds swirling around the Vatican and the Italian Catholic establishment. Pope Francis has tried to shine a light on these crimes, but his work has been met with resistance from entrenched factions. Politi writes of the decline in church attendance and vocations to the priesthood throughout the world as the church continues to prohibit divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving the communion wafer. He visits European parishes where women now perform the functions of missing male priests--and where the remaining parishioners would welcome the admission of women to the priesthood, if the church would allow it.<br> <br> Pope Francis's emphasis on pastoral compassion for all who struggle with the burden of family life has also provoked the ire of traditionalists in the Roman Curia and elsewhere. He knows from personal experience what life is like for the poor in Buenos Aires and other metropolises of the globalized world, and highlights the contrast between the vital, vibrant faith of these parishioners and the disillusionment of European Catholics. Pope Francis and his supporters are locked in a battle with the defenders of the traditional hard line and with ecclesiastical corruption. In this conflict, the future of Catholicism is at stake--and it is far from certain Francis will succeed in saving the institution from decline.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Translator's Notep. xv
1The Smell of the Sheepp. 1
2Francis's Fearp. 11
3The Coup d'État of Benedict XVIp. 22
4The Secrets of an Anti-Italian Conclavep. 34
5The End of the Imperial Churchp. 49
6The Face of a Parish Priestp. 66
7Walking with Unbelieversp. 79
8The Hidden Women Priestsp. 90
9Death in Front of the Vaticanp. 105
10The Self-Critique of a Popep. 117
11The Program of the Revolutionp. 126
12St. Peter Had No Bank Accountp. 139
13The Enemies of Francisp. 159
14The War of the Cardinalsp. 176
15The Italian Knotp. 190
16A Resignable Papacyp. 205
Notesp. 237
Indexp. 257
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