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The Catholic Church

What Everyone Needs to Know

Author(s): John L. Allen

ISBN13: 9780199975105

ISBN10: 0199975108

Publisher: OUP USA (30 May 2013)

Extent: 336 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 14.3 x 2.1 x 20.9 cm

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  • Roman Catholicism stands at a crossroads, a classic "best of times, worst of times" moment. On the one hand, the Catholic Church remains by far the largest branch of the worldwide Christian family, and is growing. Yet the Church has also been rocked by a series of scandals related to the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, and, even more devastating, a pattern of cover-up of that abuse by the church's authorities.


    The decade-long crisis has taken a massive financial toll, but the blow to both the internal morale and the external moral standing of the Catholic Church has been even steeper. The overall picture is of a Church with enormous residual strength and exciting future prospects, but also one facing steep internal and external challenges. The question of "whither Catholicism" is of vital public relevance, for believers and non-believers alike. In this book, John L. Allen, Jr., will offer an authoritative and accessible primer on the Church today.

  • John L. Allen

    JOHN L. ALLEN is the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNN and National Public Radio. He is the author of The Rise of Benedict XVIand All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, The Nation, and many other publications. His Internet column, "The Word from Rome," is considered by knowledgeable observers to be the best single source of insights on Vatican affairs in the English language.

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    An excellent handbook for those who want (or need) to know more about the Catholic Church and for those who think they already know it all.

     - Publishers Weekly Praise for John L. Allen, Jr.


    John Allen is the English-speaking world's most informed, most insightful and most balanced commentator on the Roman Catholic Church today.

     - America


    The best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever.

     - George Weigel,


    The Biography of Pope John Paul II "The journalist other reporters-and not a few cardinals-look to for the inside story on how all the pope's men direct the world's largest church.

     - Kenneth Woodward, Newsweek


    The most authoritative writer on Vatican affairs in the English language.

    - The Tablet


The Catholic Church

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