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The Resource Absolute power : how the pope became the most influential man in the world, Paul Collins

Absolute power : how the pope became the most influential man in the world, Paul Collins

Label
Absolute power : how the pope became the most influential man in the world
Title
Absolute power
Title remainder
how the pope became the most influential man in the world
Statement of responsibility
Paul Collins
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • The sensational story of the last two centuries of the papacy, its most influential pontiffs, troubling doctrines, and rise in global authority
  • "In 1799, the papacy was at rock bottom: The Papal States had been swept away and Rome seized by the revolutionary French armies. With cardinals scattered across Europe and the next papal election uncertain, even if Catholicism survived, it seemed the papacy was finished. In this gripping narrative of religious and political history, Paul Collins tells the improbable success story of the last 220 years of the papacy, from the unexalted death of Pope Pius VI in 1799 to the celebrity of Pope Francis today. In a strange contradiction, as the papacy has lost its physical power--its armies and states--and remained stubbornly opposed to the currents of social and scientific consensus, it has only increased its influence and political authority in the world"--
Writing style
Review
  • Theologian and former Catholic priest Collins (Papal Power) focuses on the political and religious influence of Catholic popes since 1799 in this convincing history. Beginning with the death of Pius VI in exile and ending with the early years of Pope Francis’s reign, Collins traces the rise and fall of papal power over the past 200 years both within the church and in the wider world. The 19th century is dispatched neatly and thoroughly in the book’s opening third, with a focus on how Pius IX (1846–1878) and the decisions made at the First Vatican Council (1869–1870) shaped modern papal leadership. WWI and WWII are covered in what may feel to some readers like a too-brief 50 pages, (he believes recent scholarship excoriates Pius XII excessively, and that he wasn’t a willing accomplice to the tragedies of WWII) with the most substantial portion of the book focusing on papal authority in the years leading up to and after Vatican II. Although the papacy grew in global influence during the years covered, Collins focuses primarily on Eurocentric politics—the role of the Catholic Church in the European colonial and postcolonial world is only touched on lightly. This trenchant work will be of primary interest to general readers curious about papal authority since the Enlightenment era. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed 01/08/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 02, p)
  • Theologian Collins (Papal Power) analyzes Catholic Church history from 1799 to the present to show how the papacy's influence has increased both inside and outside the church. Loss of territory and temporal power was offset by centralizing authority within the church to an extent previously unknown. Under Pius IX, who served from 1846 to 1878, the First Vatican Council defined the doctrine of papal infallibility despite opposition from some bishops. Collins calls Pius IX's reign the most momentous in history, but he terms John XXIII (r. 1958–63) the most important pope since the Reformation for convening Vatican II. He considers this the most important council of the second millennium with its aim of updating the church, although its goals were set back under John Paul II (r. 1978–2005) and Benedict XVI (r. 2005–13). Collins takes a more optimistic view of Pope Francis and terms Laudato si' the most important encyclical ever written with its concern for the planet. While the book is well documented and relies heavily on sources, the tone is occasionally subjective. VERDICT Recommended for those open to an honest but critical analysis of the role of the papacy in both the church and the world in modern times. --Denise J. Stankovics (Reviewed 02/15/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 3, p69)
  • Theologian and Vatican commentator Collins (The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the Tenth Century, 2013, etc.) delivers a critique of the last two centuries of papal history. When Pope Pius VI died as a prisoner in France in 1799, the Catholic Church was at a low ebb, battered by the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. In this comprehensive history, the author explores the fierce intellectual battles over doctrine and liturgy that marked the papacy's transition from spiritually marginalized ruler of the Papal States to telegenic moral tutor of global stature, a progress about which Collins appears somewhat ambivalent. His title seems to refer to the Vatican I decree Pastor aeternus (1870) declaring that the pope is vested with "the absolute fullness of supreme power," about which the author writes, "There is something almost demented about such a claim." It obviously doesn't refer to temporal power, and Collins rejects its application to spiritual power as well, as incompatible with the life and message of Jesus. Alongside internal political conflicts, this well-researched narrative presents struggles over subtle points of doctrine that may baffle or weary general readers but have been effective in harassing and suppressing would-be reformers. Throughout, the author rails against the hierarchical, centralized, legalistic church promoted by most recent popes as compared to the more collegial, decentralized pastoral church advocated by Pope Francis. Collins has little use for any of the popes in this period except John XXIII and Francis, believing that the others either acted directly to enhance the power and centrality of the papacy or were ineffectual place holders who permitted conservative cardinals to do the same. He is utterly contemptuous of the Curia, the Vatican's administrative arm, a "bureaucratic incubus [that] should be summarily swept away." The author concludes with a series of recommendations for reform of the church, focused largely on devolution. A thoroughly researched but tendentious history in support of a call for a radically different papacy and church. (Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2018)
Assigning source
Amazon.com
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10625544
Cataloging source
T7B
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1940-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Collins, Paul
Dewey number
262.13
Illustrations
maps
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Papacy
  • Popes
  • Roman question
  • Vatican City
  • Papal States
  • HISTORY / Europe
  • RELIGION / Christianity / Catholic
  • RELIGION / History
  • RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
how the Pope became the most influential man in the world
Label
Absolute power : how the pope became the most influential man in the world, Paul Collins
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 329-348) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Part I. Extinction? -- A death in Valence -- The "new consciousness" and "neo-ultramontanism" -- Part II. From "supreme power" to supreme pontiff -- Tackling a whole new world -- "God and the revolver!" -- "Obbedire, Obey" -- Pontificating on everything -- Part III. Rolling out and rolling back Vatican II -- Good Pope John -- "Throwing open the windows" -- The Polish colossus -- Part IV. "The smell of the sheep" -- "Reform of the reform" -- The "field hospital" -- Death and resurrection
Control code
on1028731176
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xv, 366 pages
Isbn
9781610398602
Lccn
2018932568
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
System control number
(OCoLC)1028731176
Label
Absolute power : how the pope became the most influential man in the world, Paul Collins
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 329-348) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Part I. Extinction? -- A death in Valence -- The "new consciousness" and "neo-ultramontanism" -- Part II. From "supreme power" to supreme pontiff -- Tackling a whole new world -- "God and the revolver!" -- "Obbedire, Obey" -- Pontificating on everything -- Part III. Rolling out and rolling back Vatican II -- Good Pope John -- "Throwing open the windows" -- The Polish colossus -- Part IV. "The smell of the sheep" -- "Reform of the reform" -- The "field hospital" -- Death and resurrection
Control code
on1028731176
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xv, 366 pages
Isbn
9781610398602
Lccn
2018932568
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
System control number
(OCoLC)1028731176

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