• The Vatican Diaries

  • A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
  • By: John Thavis
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 02-21-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4.0 (337 ratings)

Regular price: $23.07

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Publisher's Summary

A revealing inside look at one of the world’s most powerful and mysterious institutions
For more than 25 years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.
Thavis takes listeners from a bell tower high above St. Peter’s to the depths of the basilica and the saint’s burial place, from the politicking surrounding the election of a new pope and the ever-growing sexual abuse scandals around the world to controversies about the Vatican’s stand on contraception and more.
Perceptive, sharply written, and witty, The Vatican Diaries will appeal not only to Catholics - lapsed as well as devout - but to anyone interested in international diplomacy and the role of religion in an increasingly secularized world.
©2013 John Thavis (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A seasoned reporter on the Vatican beat takes us for an irreverent and revealing visit. Frequently from the vantage of the reportorial fly on the wall, Thavis…concentrates on the history he has witnessed firsthand.… Especially provocative are the chapters dealing with the mismanagement of diverse sex scandals and, finally, an appraisal of the opaque personality of Benedict.… Not only provocative, this report is illuminating and fully accessible to members of the faith and doubters alike." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Thavis’ anecdotal presentation will appeal to readers seeking understanding of or connection with the Catholic Church’s heart. This book is recommended for anyone who would like to challenge their own notions and perceptions of the Vatican." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By loix on 03-10-13

Timely, but disjointed

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The vignettes should at the very least have been ordered chronologically. Also, the book would have benefited from glosses for the specialized vocabulary items (at least when an item appeared for the first time); as it is, it felt like the author was more intent on showing off rather than showing the reader around.

Which scene was your favorite?

The Latin teacher!

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No, unless the movie focused on a particular vignette, like that of the Latin teacher, who seemed absolutely fascinating. The movie would be too Altman-like otherwise--disjointed and fragmented.

Any additional comments?

Very timely book!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Linda on 02-28-13

A neutral look at inner workings of the Vatican

I found this book faciniating. It is a report of the inner workings of the Vatican including the homesexual, child abuse, and financial problems the Church faces. The author neither praises nor condems the actions taking place in the hierarchy of the Vatican. The book is rich in the histrory of the Catholic Church and of recent popes. I learned a lot.

I appreciated that the author did not appear to have an "agenda" regarding the Vatican. The tone was neutral. I would recommend this book highly.

Well done.

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21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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