Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St Peter to John Paul II

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9780060653033: Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St Peter to John Paul II

The author of the landmark bestseller Catholicism profiles every pope throughout history – the benevolent and the base, the bizarre and the beloved – in one detailed and comprehensive volume.

Lives of the Pope is the most thorough, vivid, and fascinating history of the papacy available. Renowned Catholic commentator Richard McBrien offers a fresh, intelligent look at each of the 262 popes, including:-

The Apostle Peter, the first pope, in his singular role as Vicar of Christ

Formosus, the pope whose corpse was exhumed, dressed in full vestments, and subjected to a mock trial for papal misdeeds

Boniface, elected pope after having been defrocked twice for immorality

John XXIII, perhaps the most beloved pope in all of history

Lives of the Popes provides chronologically arranged biographies of the pontiffs, revealing the full sweep of the papacy. Each entry contains essential information on a pontiff’s life, major writings, controversies, and deeds both great and evil. McBrien eloquently and powerfully brings to life the unique stories of the popes and reveals how they transformed Christianity and the world.
John Paul II, the present Bishop of Rome

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Review:

"This short encyclopedia... is an indispensable reference."--Newsweek

From the Back Cover:

The most detailed and comprehensive history of the papacy in one volume.

'The Lives of the Popes' presents:


A time-line of papal, ecclesiastical, and secular persons and events

The lives of the popes presented in seven historical periods

Sixteen pages of photographs

Detailed essays on how popes are elected, how popes have been removed from office, and the future of the papacy

The popes rated: "outstanding," "good, or above average," "worst," and "historically important"

Tables: a chronological list of popes, the longest and shortest pontificates, papal "firsts" and "lasts," key papal encyclicals, and a list of antipopes

'Lives of the Popes' features all 262 popes, from the benevolent and the base to the bizarre and beloved, including:

The Apostle Peter, traditionally considered the first pope, in his singular role as Vicar of Christ;

Formosus, whose corpse was exhumed, dressed in full vestments, and subjected to a mock trial for alleged papal misdeeds;

Boniface VI, elected pope after having been defrocked twice for immorality;

Alexander VI, the most notorious pope in history. Nepotism and unbridled sensuality were the hallmarks of his pontificate;

John XXIII, perhaps the most beloved, ecumenical, and open-hearted pope in all of history. Every pope, before and after him, is to be measured against the standard he set;

John Paul II, the present Bishop of Rome, the most traveled pope in history and the first Slavic and Polish pope.

With great eloquence and power, McBrien brings to life the unique stories of the popes and reveals how they transformed Christianity and the world.

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it." With these words, according to traditional Catholic belief, the papacy was established by Jesus Christ himself as he conferred its powers and responsibilities upon the Apostle Peter at Caesarea Philippi.

Here, in the most thorough, vivid, and fascinating history of the papacy available, renowned Catholic commentator Richard McBrien throws open a window onto the great variety of men who have occupied the Chair of Peter over the course of nearly twenty centuries: warriors and peacemakers, saints and scoundrels, politicians and pastors, reformers and nepotists alike.

'Lives of the Popes' reveals the full sweep of papal history with chronologically arranged biographies divided into seven key historical periods. Each entry offers fresh and penetrating insights, along with the essential information of a pontiff's life, major writings, controversies, and deeds both good and bad.

McBrien provides a solid historical and theological context through a time-line of important papal and ecclesiastical personalities and events and through cogent explanations of every aspect of the papacy itself: the two major papal dogmas (primacy and infallibility), how popes are elected (and removed), and much more.

Richard P. McBrien, Crowley-O'Brien-Walter Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, is a leading authority on Catholicism and a frequent commentator for the national media, including CBS News. He is the general editor of the 'HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism' and author of many other books, including the bestselling 'Catholicism'.

"A remarkable and comprehensive book from one of America's most penetrating Catholic writers. It offers a fascinating and scholarly tour of popes from Peter to Pope John Paul II."
RT. REV. GEORGE CAREY, Archbishop of Canterbury

"Balanced and accurate … an enjoyable read for anyone interested in history, in religion, in people."
REV. ROBERT J. WISTER, 'Seton Hall University'

"Vintage McBrien: timely, provocative, clear, and well-researched … scholars and nonscholars alike will find this comprehensive presentation of the papacy during two millennia a fascinating saga."
REV. PATRICK GRANFIELD, O.S.B., 'The Catholic University of America'

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