All the Pope’s Men, by John L. Allen, Jr.

This is another book that I’ve had on my shelf for a while but just got around to reading — it’s a relatively in depth look at the way that the Vatican works, how it’s organized, how it (organizationally) thinks about issues. I found much of the content interesting, although a little bit arcane (predictably, I suppose), and the author a little more sympathetic & apologetic for the Church than I would have liked. As an example, the book spends quite a lot of time going through two episodes — the sexual abuse scandal in the US, and teh Iraq war — and goes into excruciating detail on who did what, when, and why. It was a lot more detail than I expected, and it didn’t completely change my views on the situation, but certainly gave me some other points of view to think about that are worthwhile. I’m predicting that this book, and another of Allen’s books, Conclave, will sell extremely well in the coming months or years as a new Pope takes the spot. A fine book, but I probably can only recommend it to you if you’ve got a lot of extra time. ­čÖé

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