The Vatican
by Martin, Malachi
pub. by Harper & Row, NY - 1986     isbn orig 1st ed 0060154780 - Jove paperback 0515096547
657p. - - fiction/historical
Malachi Martin, was a Jesuit priest and functionary within the Vatican. He lived 1921 – 1999 so was alive during the times fictionalized in this book - 1945 - about 1985. It is a fictionalized history of the Vatican between 1945 when Pope Pius XII was Pope, through John XXIII (who called the Vatican II Conference) - Pope Paul VI - John Paul I and John Paul II. Protestations by the author to the contrary, I believe it to be thinly veiled historical fiction. The names of the major players are changed, but not in such a way that one can not easily discern their true historical names. (See several reviews on Amazon.) Martin did not view the reforms of the Vatican II conference favorably. The writing in this book makes that abundantly clear. The story is told through the eyes of a young priest from USA who lives as a functionary in the Vatican through this period.
Major historical events during this period covered include, the messy end of WWII and dealings with displaced persons (refugees) - Vatican II conference - the mysterious sudden death of Pope John Paul I - and complications with the Vatican Bank.
After reading this lengthy work one is left wondering.... how much is history.... how much in invention.... is the author at all correct in his opinions?

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