Cover of: The Pope's Divisions | Nichols, Peter

The Pope's Divisions

The Roman Catholic Church Today

1st American ed.

Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in New York .
Written in English.

About the Book

A thorough, perceptive, but almost terminally disorganized survey. Nichols is a long-time Rome correspondent for the London Times and deeply familiar with the intricacies of Vatican politics. He's followed the globetrotting John Paul II everywhere and has a sophisticated grasp of the many national varieties of Catholicism--American, Irish, Filipino, etc. An agnostic Anglican and a fair-minded liberal, he brings a nice blend of sympathy and critical detachment to his scrutiny of the institution that, as he stresses, binds together almost a fifth of the human race. So far, so good. But Nichols refuses to stick to the straightforward journalistic task he's so superbly equipped for. For one thing, he lets his (perfectly honorable) concern over various global crises--poverty, the arms race, runaway urbanization in the Third World--sidetrack him from the subject at hand. Granting the relevance of all this to a Church that claims to be universal, one gets the impression nonetheless that Nichols would rather discuss the gulf between the industrial North and the hungry South than, say, the humbler, day-to-day ""churchy"" realities of Catholic life. More serious than this imbalance, though, is Nichols' propensity for hopping all over the place. A chapter ostensibly about Fatima meanders through remarks on the origin of Pentecostalism, Bishop Hilarion Capucci and his undercover work for the PLO, quarrels between Armenians and Syrian Jacobites for ownership of the chapel of St. Nicodemus, etc. Still, despite the structural muddle, Nichols does have a clear thesis: while in some ways a reactionary anachronism (unrealistic sexual ethics, bureaucratic stiffening-of-the-joints), the Church could be, especially in Latin America, the cutting edge of a drive for justice and human dignity. And Nichols gives us a rich sampling of anecdotes, statistics, and shrewd observations that, if nothing else, cast some ironic light on Stalin's famous jibe. Flawed but intelligent.

Edition Notes

Includes index.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
282/.09/04
Library of Congress
BX1389 .N525 1981

The Physical Object

Format
Hardback
Pagination
382 p. ;
Number of pages
382

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL4258937M
Internet Archive
popesdivisionsth00nich
ISBN 10
0030475767
LC Control Number
81004501
Library Thing
1211840
Goodreads
3862866
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April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Initial record created, from Scriblio MARC record.