“Commendable and balanced . . . With crisp writing and an amazing attention to detail, Allen brings readers inside the papal jockeying, covering the days of mourning and the conclave.” —The Los Angeles Times
“A welcome contribution to understanding the new pontificate . . . The Rise of Benedict XVI is a useful chronicle that packs a lot into relatively few pages.” —Richard John Neuhaus, First Things “For a current look at the new papacy, Allen is the person to read. He is fair, free from the oracular pomposity of some American commentators, and, as always, highly readable.” —Commonweal
“The Rise of Benedict XVI . . . covers the subject thoroughly and thoughtfully. In smooth, readable prose devoid of polemics, he outlines competing expectations and explains the strengths and weaknesses of each.” —San Antonio Express-News
“A worthwhile contribution to understanding why Rome has its first German pope in 800 years.” —The Washington Post
On April 18, 2005, the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church gathered to elect a successor to Pope John Paul II. Faced with several potential candidates, the cardinals made a bold choice, entrusting the Keys of the Kingdom to 78-year-old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a man whose views on the challenges facing the Church and the broader culture could not be more unambiguous, or controversial. Questions arose as the world watched while Ratzinger was installed as Pope Benedict XVI. No one can tell the story of exactly what took place during the closed doors meeting, known as the conclave, when Cardinals from around the world cast their votes for the next pope, better than John L. Allen, Jr. As a correspondent for National Catholic Reporter and a Vatican analyst for CNN and National Public Radio, Allen has spent years covering Vatican politics and personalities, and his unique access to Roman halls of power has enabled him to write the ultimate behind-the-scenes account of the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
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