Lives of the Popes - reissue: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to by Richard P. McBrien

By Richard P. McBrien

This pocket variation of Richard McBrien's acclaimed Lives of the Popes is a pragmatic speedy reference instrument for students, scholars, and a person desiring quite a few concise evidence approximately the entire popes, from St. Peter to Benedict XVI.

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Extra info for Lives of the Popes - reissue: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI

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But for those who read French, it is an excellent and supremely valuable reference work. Indeed, in the writing of my own book, I have relied upon all of these works, to one degree or another, and also upon the individual entries on each of the popes in the monumental New Catholic Encyclopedia (fourteen volumes, plus one index volume and four supplementary volumes), originally published under copyright of The Catholic University of America in 1967. This last resource, however, reflects in more than a few of the entries on the popes a pre–Vatican II, almost triumphalistic portrayal of the papacy.

1), as if the Church were a tower under construction and these leaders were numbered among its stones. By the late second or early third century, however, Peter did become identified in tradition as the first Bishop of Rome. But tradition is not a fact factory. It cannot make something into a historical fact when it is not. Peter is credited with writing two Letters that are part of the New Testament canon: 1 and 2 Peter. While biblical scholars generally accept his authorship of the first, they regard his authorship of the second as unlikely.

It is both. But it is intended, in the first instance, as a book to be read as any other, from cover to cover. Thereafter, it can serve as a reference, to be consulted as often as one has questions about the papacy or individual popes. ” Catholics in particular have not been accustomed to reading frank, comparative judgments about the character and performance of the various successors of St. Peter. Some of them even think it irreverent or impious to do so. Moreover, scholars and nonscholars alike will undoubtedly quarrel with the placement of individual popes in particular categories and the absence of others from one or another category.

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