VATICAN JOURNAL by Anne O'Hare McCormick


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This collection of representative columns by the late and highly revered foreign correspondent of the New York Times is divided into two sections:- ""The Vatican, the Papacy, Church and State"" and ""Spiritual Essays of Historical Significance"". The initial part includes reports and reflections on successive events occurring during the pontificates of Benedict XV, Plus XI and Plus XII and her comments on the relations of the Vatican and the individual Popes to various secular rulers,- Mussolini, Hitler, President Roosevelt, for instance, and to such political movements of their day as vitally affected the course of events for the world and the Church. One predominant theme is the contrast between the long-range view of the Vatican and the short-range view of secular movements and institutions with which the Vatican has to deal in the temporal sphere. The second part of the book includes Miss McCormick's meditations at successive Christmas and Easter seasons during and after World War II. The anthology is valuable as a lasting tribute to a high-souled journalist, who wrote with quiet charm and a classical sense of style, and further as a record that brings alive the events and characters of the first half of this century in an historically trustworthy and philosophically sound manner. One confesses to wishing that the comments had been less general in character, that there had been more variety in approach. There is an effect of monotony that detracts from the particular value of her observations as a Catholic writing of topics significant to a Catholic audience.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus