Marco Politi takes us deep inside the power struggle roiling the Roman Curia, beginning with Benedict XVI, the pope who famously resigned in 2013, and intensifying with the contested and unexpected election of Jorge Maria Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, now known as Pope Francis. Politi's account balances the perspectives of Pope Francis's supporters, Benedict's sympathizers, and the disappointed Catholic laity, who feel alienated by the institution's secrecy, financial corruption, and refusal to modernize. Politi dramatically recounts the sexual scandals that have rocked the church worldwide and the accusations of financial malfeasance swirling around the Vatican and the Italian Catholic Church. Pope Francis has tried to shine a light on these crimes, but his work has been met with stubborn resistance from entrenched factions. Politi writes of the decline in vocations to the priesthood in the developing world, and he visits European parishes where women now perform the functions of missing male priests--and where the parishioners would welcome the admission of women to the priesthood, if the church would allow it.
Pope Francis's emphasis on pastoral work rather than theological doctrine in the developing world has also provoked the ire of the Roman Curia. He and his supporters are in a great battle with the defenders of Catholic tradition and with ecclesiastical corruption in Rome and Italy. In this conflict, the future of Catholicism is at stake--and it is far from certain that Francis will succeed in overcoming his opponents and save the faith from decline.
Pope Francis Among the Wolves by Marco Politi was published by Columbia University Press in October 2015. The ISBN for Pope Francis Among the Wolves is 9780231174145.