Paul Collins was a Catholic priest for 33 years, and when he decided to publish this book, the Vatican objected to several chapters. He resigned, and readers, more specifically people interested in religious affairs, historians, and Catholics all over the world, are privileges to read this fascinating book.
The Birth Of The West is an engrossing read throughout, with some surprising, and disturbing historical facts, such as the Reformation of Papacy, the Role of German kings.
Up to the 10th century, Catholic priests were married, some legally, others illegally. Some Pops even had illegitimate children. At that time the Catholic Church and Vatican had a lot more to say in European politics than today. Reading this meticulously researched book will help the reader understand how European kingdoms were ruled, evolved, and transformed from independent duchies to countries.
Although today’s Vatican and the Pope have no power or even influence in world politics, some cardinals still cling to the idea that they represent significant political clout.
Vatican is now beset by internal fights, enormous ethical problems due to the behaviour of some priests, and financial problems in the bank controlled by a special department of the curia.
Only a few years ago, the body of the general manager of the bank of Ambrosia was found hanging under a bridge in London. He had been hired to clean up the bank and make it profitable again.
This book’s arrival is very timely with the recent election of a new Pope who seems to be more interested in spreading the faith than exercising unabashed luxurious living. Vatican is the highest per capita wine consumer of high quality wines in Europe and possibly the world.