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By Paul Collins

This attention-grabbing and sensational tale of the final centuries of the papacy is an important demand the reevaluation and reimagination of papal strength by way of one in every of latest preeminent theologians

In 1799, the papacy was once at all-time low: The Papal States have been swept away and Rome seized via the innovative French armies. The cardinals have been scattered throughout Europe, and Catholics feared they might be not able to choose the subsequent pope. whether Catholicism survived, it appeared the papacy was once complete. And but, simply over 2 hundred years later, the pope nonetheless stands "at the very heart of the primary conversations of our time" (Time). His impact reaches around the world--from Cuban politics to gender equality to the refugee crisis--and the power of his "soft strength" is incomparable.

In this gripping narrative of non secular and political heritage, Paul Collins tells the unbelievable good fortune tale of the final 220 years of the papacy, from the unexalted dying of Pope Pius VI in 1799 to the fame of Pope Francis this present day. As a historian, journalist, and theologian, Collins additionally poses urgent, serious inquiries to the Catholic Church: Does contemporary church governance stray from the lessons of the gospel? Is the papacy's inner energy so nice that it'd be thought of heretical? if this is the case, what could be performed to make sure a credible--and Christ-like--path ahead?
Absolute energy is required examining for a person attracted to the historical past of state-of-the-art complicated energy structures--as good as an individual invested in non secular, political, and social development within the West.

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