Pope Francis Among the Wolves

The Inside Story of a Revolution

Marco Politi. Translated by William McCuaig

Columbia University Press

Pope Francis Among the Wolves

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Pub Date: November 2017

ISBN: 9780231174152

288 Pages

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Pub Date: September 2015

ISBN: 9780231174145

288 Pages

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Pub Date: September 2015

ISBN: 9780231540087

288 Pages

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Pope Francis Among the Wolves

The Inside Story of a Revolution

Marco Politi. Translated by William McCuaig

Columbia University Press

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.

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.
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.
A profound analysis of the Argentinean pope given by one of the most important experts on the Vatican in the world. Santiago Zabala, ICREA/Pompeu Fabra University
Politi's coverage of Pope Francis, his internal opposition and vision for a changing church, belongs in every newsroom for the adroit treatment of how ferocious Vatican politics can be. This book will attract general readers, nuns, bishops, professors, students, cardinals, diplomats, politicians, and even their hatchetmen seeking insight on a pope who has captured the world's imagination Jason Berry, author of Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church
Politi is one of the world's most accomplished Vatican observers, and in many ways Francis is the pope he has been waiting his whole life to cover. This is Politi at his tea-leaf-reading best, which is very, very good. John L. Allen Jr., associate editor of the Boston Globe and Crux
Marco Politi is a writer for our times, with his insight, access, and wisdom about an intriguing pontiff. Few people can dig up the nuggets and jewels about such important papal matters, and what Politi knows and serves up to his readers cannot be missed. Pope Francis Among the Wolves is surely another of Politi's 'must-reads.' Christiane Amanpour CNN, Chief international Correspondent
Journalist and Vatican insider Politi draws upon a vast wealth of sources.... 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. Library Journal
Politi certainly delivers on the subtitle's promise of a look inside the byzantine halls of the institutional Catholic Church. Publishers Weekly
All Francis-watchers will want to—should—read Politi. Booklist
[Pope Francis Among the Wolves] sheds light on the pope's revolution within church institutions. Elizabeth Webb, America
Preface
Acknowledgments
Translator's Note
1. The Smell of the Sheep
2. Francis's Fear
3. The Coup d'État of Benedict XVI
4. The Secrets of an Anti-Italian Conclave
5. The End of the Imperial Church
6. The Face of a Parish Priest
7. Walking with Unbelievers
8. The Hidden Women Priests
9. Death in Front of the Vatican
10. The Self-Critique of a Pope
11. The Program of the Revolution
12. St. Peter Had No Bank Account
13. The Enemies of Francis
14. The War of the Cardinals
15. The Italian Knot
16. A Resignable Papacy
Notes
Index

About the Author

Marco Politi has been a leading international expert on Vatican issues for more than forty years. He is a journalist with the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano and was the Vatican correspondent for La Repubblica. With Carl Bernstein, he wrote the international best-seller His Holiness. His other books include Pope Wojtyla: The Farewell; The Return of God; I, Gay Priest; The Church That Says No; and Joseph Ratzinger: Crisis of a Papacy.
William McCuaig is a translator living in Montreal.