The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-scenes Look At The Power, Personalities, And Politics At The Heart Of The Catholic Chu by John ThavisThe Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-scenes Look At The Power, Personalities, And Politics At The Heart Of The Catholic Chu by John Thavis

The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-scenes Look At The Power, Personalities, And Politics At The…

byJohn Thavis

Paperback | February 25, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info

$17.70 online 
$19.00 list price save 6%
Earn 89 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


The New York Times–bestselling inside look at one of the world’s most powerful and mysterious institutions

For more than twenty-five years, John Thavis held one of the most remarkable journalistic assignments in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. In The Vatican Diaries, Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place struggling to define itself in the face of internal and external threats, where Curia cardinals fight private wars and sexual abuse scandals threaten to undermine papal authority. Thavis (author of The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age) also takes readers through the politicking behind the election of Pope Francis and what we might expect from his papacy. The Vatican Diaries is a perceptive, compelling, and provocative account of this singular institution and will be of interest to anyone intrigued by the challenges faced by religion in an increasingly secularized world.
John Thavis recently retired as the prizewinning chief of the Rome bureau of the Catholic News Service, where he had covered the Vatican since 1983. He divides his time between Minnesota and Rome. The Vatican Diaries is his first book.
Title:The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-scenes Look At The Power, Personalities, And Politics At The…Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.37 × 5.67 × 0.75 inPublished:February 25, 2014Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143124536

ISBN - 13:9780143124535


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Insightful A fascinating inside look at the workings of the Vatican. Very interesting!
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good. Kept you on your toes and was pretty good
Date published: 2014-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good. I loved it. I didn't realize that there was so much history under the Vatican.
Date published: 2013-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Fantastic! Entertaining insights by longtime Vatican reporter John Thavis taking us behind the Vatican walls. Each chapter covers a controversial subject from recent Vatican history in an entertaining and insight manner. The final chapter on Pope (now Emeritus) Benedict is perfectly timed to his resignation as we realize that he was not a people-Pope and averted the public spotlight. Hopefully, a sequel to this book is in play as there is so much more tantalizing material to cover.Read this in two days after Pope Francis' election. Will be interesting to see if our new Pope can change the Roman Curia for the better.
Date published: 2013-03-24

Editorial Reviews

“Wonder what's going on behind those huge doors at the Vatican? Wonder what those cardinals are up to as they scurry about getting ready to elect a new pope? Wonder what the man who rings the bells when that new pope is finally elected is thinking? Thavis answers all in this fascinating book.” —USA Today   “A veritable handbook on all things Vatican.” —The Daily Beast   “A thoughtful meditation on recent papal administrations and the bureaucrats, functionaries, and emissaries who advance or thwart Rome’s global ambitions.” —New York Journal of Books   “Most fascinating is Thavis' generous assessment of Benedict XVI, whom he sees as an almost tragic figure.” —The New Yorker   “Thavis’s Vatican Diaries is well worth putting on your Amazon wish list.” —Forbes   “[The Vatican Diaries] succeeds well in presenting the Roman Curia as a flesh-and-blood community, a byzantine theater of the sacred.” —National Catholic Reporter   “Entertaining and readable.” —Publishers Weekly   “A lively book that's steeped in history and personality.” —The Eagle Tribune   “Thavis has offered this rare, perceptive and highly readable glimpse into a power structure that is less in control than many would have us believe.” —America   “Illuminating and fully accessible to members of the faith and doubters alike.” —Kirkus Reviews   “In an age when social media threatens to emasculate news and current affairs, Thavis' work is a refreshing sign that great journalism is not dead. Instead of the inane trivia that now passes for 'news' , Thavis provides us with an account of great depth carefully tempered with censure and sympathy.” —Justin Cahill, Booktopia   “An American Catholic who has done his homework, learned Latin and Italian, made friends in high places, found his way for thirty years in the maze of Church bureaucracy, gives us a humane and realistic and (yes) humorous picture of a mortal institution that guides hundreds of millions of mortals along the path from birth to death and beyond. To an old Prot like me, it's a tour of alien terrain and a bridge to old and dear friends.” —Garrison Keillor   “Vatican Diaries is a must-read for anyone interested in the Vatican’s role in the Catholic Church and the world.” —Thomas J. Reese, S.J.   “The Vatican Diaries by John Thavis provides us with an intriguing and much needed antidote to one of the most common problems affecting many Catholics and non-Catholics who look at the Vatican these days: the assumption of the cold ruthlessness of the “machine”. Thavis shows us also the deeply human side of the Vatican, the last Empire and the last, great theater of the sacred in Western Christianity.” —Massimo Faggioli, University of St. Thomas   “In this highly readable memoir of being a journalist at the Vatican, John Thavis follows the conclaves, sex scandals, internal backstabbing and olympian nature of the popes with a sense of comic relief at the caravan passing through his viewfinder.” —Jason Berry, author of Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic ChurchFrom the Hardcover edition.