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The Pontiff in Winter

John Cornwell

The Pontiff in Winter

John Cornwell

$20.99

Paperback
Praise for John Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope: “[Hitler’s Pope] redefines the entire history of the 20th century.” —Tad Szluc, Washington Post “As Cornwell brilliantly demonstrates, Pius XII brought the authoritarianism and the centralization of his predecessors to their most extreme stage.” —Saul Friedlander, Los Angeles Times “Explosive… [Cornwell] makes a case in Hitler’s Pope that is very difficult to refute.” —New York Times Book Review “Devastating…instead of a portrait of a man worthy of sainthood, Cornwell lays out the story of a narcissistic, power-hungry manipulator.” —James Carroll, Atlantic Monthly “A book that cannot, and should not, be ignored.” —The Reverend John F. Morley, Commonweal “Scathing.” —Time “If anything, given the hideous consequences of the Holocaust and the culpability of millions of people who did not fight against it, Cornwell is circumscribed and methodical…. Read this book.” —Michael Pakenham, Baltimore Sun Praise for John Cornwell’s Breaking Faith: “A provocative, deeply personal, and intelligent book.” —Library Journal “[Cornwell] knows the inner workings of the Vatican and the tensions dividing conservatives and liberals.” —New York Times Book Review “Vigorous … honest … compelling.” —Rupert Shortt, Times Literary Supplement

- Publisher Over more than a quarter of a century, John Paul II has firmly set his stamp on the billion-member strong Catholic Church for future generations and he has become one of the most influential political figures in the world. His key role in the downfall of communism in Europe, as well as his apologies for the Catholic Church's treatment of Jews and to victims of the Inquisition, racism, and religious wars, won him worldwide admiration. Yet his papacy has also been marked by what many perceive as misogyny, homophobia, and ecclesiastical tyranny. Some critics suggest that his perpetuation of the Church's traditional hierarchical paternalism contributed to pedophiliac behavior in the priesthood and encouraged superiors to sweep the crimes under the carpet. "The Pontiff in Winter" brings John Paul's complex, contradictory character into sharp focus. In a bold, highly original work, John Cornwell argues that John Paul's mystical view of history and conviction that his mission has been divine

- Publisher chapter one Close Encounters There is no substitute for the living presence, the inclination of the head, the meeting of the eyes, the idiosyncratic gesture, the tone of voice. I first met Pope John Paul II privately in his halcyon days. It was a gray morning in December 1987, and I had attended Mass in his private chapel. Accompanied by his secretary, Stanislaw Dziwisz, a Polish priest with soft gestures and undulant step, John Paul appeared in the library of the papal apartment as if he had all the time in the world. He looked utterly centered in himself. I noticed that his cassock was a little worn and off-white, a comfortable favorite for early mornings. He gave the impression of being equally comfortable and settled in his papacy. He was wearing a gleaming gold watch that flashed, like his pectoral cross, in the strong arc lamps. He wore a pair of stiff, shiny, fashionable tan casuals; they seemed to me, at first, incongruous, unclerical. Previous popes in this modern era had floated on felt-soled scarlet slippers. He studied me with narrowed eyes, dragging those feet in sturdy shoes along the marble floor, somewhat pigeon-toed. "Stas" Dziwisz, the "velvet power" in the papal apartment, was whispering something in his ear. Then he was next to me, deeply stooped and hugely broad-shouldered, his legs a little apart like a hill-walker steadying himself. There was a discreet hint of peppermint and aftershave: I understood he liked Fisherman's Friend lozenges for his throat, and dabbed Penhaligon Eau de Cologne on his well-shaved jowls. His silver-white hair was inexpertly cut and slightly tousled. His familiar face, the most famous face in the world, looked drained, exhausted, as if he had not slept. Cinematically handsome from afar, he appeared, eminently, human up close. If he was a mystic, as many of his biographers claim, I sensed no numinous aura. He inclined a large Slavonic left ear, inviting me to speak. His hand went out; as I grasped it and wondered whether I should kiss his ring, he managed to clutch my arm and push it away at the same time. His great square head went down until his chin was buried in his chest; then the eye opened, a steely knowing eye, scrutinizing me sideways. He was waiting for me to say something. I caught a sudden impression of the Niagara of sycophancy, persuasion, and petition that poured into that ear day by day. Then he turned full face on--a wide, fatherly, frank face. He began to speak, pointing his forefinger at me. That first impression was of a man who was at once recollected and yet dauntingly observant; kindly, yet capable of stern authority. I sensed an unassailable integrity and openness, and yet there was something cunning, a peasant craftiness about the way he nailed you sideways with that eye when you least expected it. Above all, in that Vatican milieu of fleshy celibates, whose ambience was cushioned offices and plump prayer stools, he came across as a plain man who set no store by decorous niceties; an unaffected, integrated, informal, utterly human person. His informality, setting him apart from a generation of prelates who stood on ceremonial and ecclesiastical dignity, was captured in another first encounter I had heard about. The late Derek Worlock, Archbishop of Liverpool, was serving on a bishops' commission in Rome with Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow, as John Paul then was in the early 1970s. One morning, according to Worlock, Wojtyla arrived late, soaked, having walked through driving rain across Rome, eschewing the use of the chauffeur-driven car to which he was entitled. Without the least embarrassment, as the assembled bishops and cardinals looked on, he first took off his shoes, then his sodden socks. Standing in bare feet, he squeezed out the water on the floor, placing the socks over a radiator to dry. Then he turned and said to the amazed prelates: "Well, gentlemen! Le

- Publisher

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About "The Pontiff in Winter"

Praise for John Cornwell’s Hitler’s Pope: “[Hitler’s Pope] redefines the entire history of the 20th century.” —Tad Szluc, Washington Post “As Cornwell brilliantly demonstrates, Pius XII brought the authoritarianism and the centralization of his predecessors to their most extreme stage.” —Saul Friedlander, Los Angeles Times “Explosive… [Cornwell] makes a case in Hitler’s Pope that is very difficult to refute.” —New York Times Book Review “Devastating…instead of a portrait of a man worthy of sainthood, Cornwell lays out the story of a narcissistic, power-hungry manipulator.” —James Carroll, Atlantic Monthly “A book that cannot, and should not, be ignored.” —The Reverend John F. Morley, Commonweal “Scathing.” —Time “If anything, given the hideous consequences of the Holocaust and the culpability of millions of people who did not fight against it, Cornwell is circumscribed and methodical…. Read this book.” —Michael Pakenham, Baltimore Sun Praise for John Cornwell’s Breaking Faith: “A provocative, deeply personal, and intelligent book.” —Library Journal “[Cornwell] knows the inner workings of the Vatican and the tensions dividing conservatives and liberals.” —New York Times Book Review “Vigorous … honest … compelling.” —Rupert Shortt, Times Literary Supplement
- Publisher

Over more than a quarter of a century, John Paul II has firmly set his stamp on the billion-member strong Catholic Church for future generations and he has become one of the most influential political figures in the world. His key role in the downfall of communism in Europe, as well as his apologies for the Catholic Church's treatment of Jews and to victims of the Inquisition, racism, and religious wars, won him worldwide admiration. Yet his papacy has also been marked by what many perceive as misogyny, homophobia, and ecclesiastical tyranny. Some critics suggest that his perpetuation of the Church's traditional hierarchical paternalism contributed to pedophiliac behavior in the priesthood and encouraged superiors to sweep the crimes under the carpet. "The Pontiff in Winter" brings John Paul's complex, contradictory character into sharp focus. In a bold, highly original work, John Cornwell argues that John Paul's mystical view of history and conviction that his mission has been divine
- Publisher

chapter one Close Encounters There is no substitute for the living presence, the inclination of the head, the meeting of the eyes, the idiosyncratic gesture, the tone of voice. I first met Pope John Paul II privately in his halcyon days. It was a gray morning in December 1987, and I had attended Mass in his private chapel. Accompanied by his secretary, Stanislaw Dziwisz, a Polish priest with soft gestures and undulant step, John Paul appeared in the library of the papal apartment as if he had all the time in the world. He looked utterly centered in himself. I noticed that his cassock was a little worn and off-white, a comfortable favorite for early mornings. He gave the impression of being equally comfortable and settled in his papacy. He was wearing a gleaming gold watch that flashed, like his pectoral cross, in the strong arc lamps. He wore a pair of stiff, shiny, fashionable tan casuals; they seemed to me, at first, incongruous, unclerical. Previous popes in this modern era had floated on felt-soled scarlet slippers. He studied me with narrowed eyes, dragging those feet in sturdy shoes along the marble floor, somewhat pigeon-toed. "Stas" Dziwisz, the "velvet power" in the papal apartment, was whispering something in his ear. Then he was next to me, deeply stooped and hugely broad-shouldered, his legs a little apart like a hill-walker steadying himself. There was a discreet hint of peppermint and aftershave: I understood he liked Fisherman's Friend lozenges for his throat, and dabbed Penhaligon Eau de Cologne on his well-shaved jowls. His silver-white hair was inexpertly cut and slightly tousled. His familiar face, the most famous face in the world, looked drained, exhausted, as if he had not slept. Cinematically handsome from afar, he appeared, eminently, human up close. If he was a mystic, as many of his biographers claim, I sensed no numinous aura. He inclined a large Slavonic left ear, inviting me to speak. His hand went out; as I grasped it and wondered whether I should kiss his ring, he managed to clutch my arm and push it away at the same time. His great square head went down until his chin was buried in his chest; then the eye opened, a steely knowing eye, scrutinizing me sideways. He was waiting for me to say something. I caught a sudden impression of the Niagara of sycophancy, persuasion, and petition that poured into that ear day by day. Then he turned full face on--a wide, fatherly, frank face. He began to speak, pointing his forefinger at me. That first impression was of a man who was at once recollected and yet dauntingly observant; kindly, yet capable of stern authority. I sensed an unassailable integrity and openness, and yet there was something cunning, a peasant craftiness about the way he nailed you sideways with that eye when you least expected it. Above all, in that Vatican milieu of fleshy celibates, whose ambience was cushioned offices and plump prayer stools, he came across as a plain man who set no store by decorous niceties; an unaffected, integrated, informal, utterly human person. His informality, setting him apart from a generation of prelates who stood on ceremonial and ecclesiastical dignity, was captured in another first encounter I had heard about. The late Derek Worlock, Archbishop of Liverpool, was serving on a bishops' commission in Rome with Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow, as John Paul then was in the early 1970s. One morning, according to Worlock, Wojtyla arrived late, soaked, having walked through driving rain across Rome, eschewing the use of the chauffeur-driven car to which he was entitled. Without the least embarrassment, as the assembled bishops and cardinals looked on, he first took off his shoes, then his sodden socks. Standing in bare feet, he squeezed out the water on the floor, placing the socks over a radiator to dry. Then he turned and said to the amazed prelates: "Well, gentlemen! Le
- Publisher

Meet the Author

John Cornwell

John Cornwell, a prize-winning author and journalist, has been Director of the Science and Human Dimension Project since 1990 at Jesus College, Cambridge. He is the author of a number of books including Hitler's Pope and, most recently, Seminary Boy.

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 237385
  • Product Code 0385514859
  • EAN 9780385514859
  • Pages 368
  • Department Academic
  • Category Christian Worldview
  • Sub-Category World Events
  • Publisher Image
  • Publication Date Nov 2005
  • Dimensions 206 x 139 x 20 mm
  • Weight 0.326kg

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