THE PAGEANT OF THE POPES by John Farrow

THE PAGEANT OF THE POPES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is reviewed from the point of view of a book for the Catholic trade on Page 400. But it is a book that rates a wider market -- hence its inclusion here. An amazing place of concentration this -- the history of the papacy in one volume, compassing not only the personalities, but their place in world history. One gets a comprehensive picture of the part the popes have played for good and evil; one gets the highlighting of major issues and minor in the history of the church of Rome, the answer to questions half formulated (for instance, whence the name Catholic Church? When and why do popes adopt other names? What brought about the break between East and West? What contributions did individual popes make to the temporal -- the spiritual -- the social and political scene). I found it enlightening and interesting reading, though the constant change of personalities was at times bewildering. The book should be read as an important historical pageant, rather than as a religious history. The author has wisely refrained from expanding the controversial issues of the relations of the papacy today to specific issues, but has suggested the basic principles back of Plus XII's attempt to maintain a neutral attitude.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1942
Publisher: Sheed & Ward