From the Publisher
Reviews of the previous edition:
"An excellent handbook for those who want (or need) to know more about the Catholic Church and for those who think they already know it all." Publishers Weekly
"John Allen is the English-speaking world's most informed, most insightful and most balanced commentator on the Roman Catholic Church today."America
''Paints a fair-minded picture of the Roman Catholic strain of the faith, its beliefs, its worship and its structures. [Allen] gets behind the image of stern Catholic uniformity and begins to show what a remarkably diverse body this really is.'' Times Literary Supplement
"Allen's engaging writing keeps readers' attention and interest... Highly recommended." CHOICE
"The best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever."George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II
"The journalist other reporters-and not a few cardinals-look to for the inside story on how all the pope's men direct the world's largest church."Kenneth Woodward, Newsweek
"The most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language."The Tablet
Allen is a veteran Vaticanista whose coverage of the papacy for National Catholic Reporter has made him the media's go-to guy on church politics. But Allen's ability to clearly explain the arcane workings of Roman Catholicism - to experts and lay people alike-is as impressive as his punditry, and that skill is on full display in his latest book. In 12 chapters, Allen gives a smart, highly readable primer on the mechanics of the Catholic Church and on the doctrines and history of Catholicism. His longtime perch in Rome also gives him a global perspective on Catholicism that is often obscured by events on the ground. Allen periodically indulges in his trademark analysis as well, salting the narrative with insights about present controversies and future possibilities for the church. This is an excellent handbook for those who want (or need) to know more about the Catholic Church-and for those who think they already know it all.
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