booklady's Reviews > Pope John XXIII: A Penguin Life

Pope John XXIII by Thomas Cahill
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's review
Oct 23, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2010, biography, church-documents, hagiography, non-fiction, religion, spiritual, theology, history, war
Read from October 22 to November 02, 2010

If you buy into Cahill's agenda, Pope John was the only good pope of the last century ... or more. Not being a papal authority I can't refute many of his allegations against the other recent popes especially Pius XII and Paul VI but I find his offhand assessments highly prejudicial and suspect. That aside, it was a romanticized and extremely condensed view of Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli's life which I found dissatisfying on the whole, but then I haven't been overly thrilled with any of the bios in this series.

Don't get me wrong, I love Pope John XXIII, I just think there has to be a better biography out there about him. And certainly there has to be one which doesn't praise him at the expense of his colleagues. As I came to understand the heart of this holy man, I believe the very last thing he would want would be to disparage the others who struggled so hard to uphold the integrity and sanctity of the Chair of Peter as the author has done in this book.


After watching the near epic film John XVIII I am hungry to learn more about this incredible man. I never had any idea what a wonderfully loving, holy and saintly man he was. Usually he is mentioned in disparaging terms as a 'poor peasant farmer's son' or 'an interim pope' or, most damning of all, the 'one who called the Second Vatican Council', as if that was the end of all that was good in the church.
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10/23/2010 page 73

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Bear (new)

Bear Agree with all...thanks for sharing it with me! It was better than I expected...

booklady It was a good movie. Are you up for the book?

message 3: by Bear (new)

Bear Yup!

message 4: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Good movie. Thanks, Cathy. I love him. Always did. Peace on Earth is a favorite of mine.

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