Friday, April 19, 2013

The Vatican Diaries: A Review

I just finished The Vatican Diaries by former CNS journalist John Thavis.

Disclaimer: I don't know very much about the inside workings of the Vatican. Some of the things he discusses in the book predate my entry into the Church and other things predate my interest in the Vatican. So, I cannot speak to the accuracy of anything he writes.

But, I can speak to how much I enjoyed the book. When I first saw the title, I flinched. Is this book going to be bashing the Vatican? Then I saw that the author used to work for CNS. That gave me comfort. And then I read it.

(In 4 days. Impressive for a mom. Also a testament to how easy and engaging the book is. Very entertaining read.)

It's very even-handed. It depicts the Vatican as it is, a bunch of humans trying to do God's will and led by God. People make mistakes; the people in the Vatican are no exception. People are full of...ummm... personality (yeah, that's the word!); the Vatican isn't any different. I remember all of the PR flops, like the one with the lifting of the excommunication of Williamson. I remember the issue with the bell when Benedict XVI was chosen, but only because they talked about it during the recent conclave. It was fascinating to hear the background stories of these headlines. I would be interested to see a review by someone more informed than I.

I think that it's important that we acknowledge and embrace our imperfections as a Church. It takes fodder away from our enemies. It keeps us humble. It shows the world how God can use imperfect humans to do His will. It reminds us all that we are all pilgrims on a journey, making the choice everyday to follow Christ.


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