Can anyone recommend a good book on the papacy?

I would like to purchase a good book on the papacy and one that is in accord with Catholic teachings.

What about these books?

A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Present by John W. O’Malley
Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes by Eamon Duffy

Any suggestions? Thank you!

I haven’t read O’Malley’s book, but I can enthusiastically recommend Duffy’s. Fair-minded, but pulls no punches; neither revisionist not hagiographic - and told with Irish panache. :thumbsup: My only gripe with it is the disproportionate space given to the last 2-3 centuries - but I suppose that’s a given, since there’s more documentation available. :slight_smile:

Hi. Lord John Julius Norwich has published a pretty comprehensive book on the history of the papacy, from St. Peter onward. It’s a massive tome, running for just over 600 pages, but there’s some good information in there.

The Popes: A History. London: Chatto & Windus. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7011-8290-8.

I haven’t read Saints and Sinners, but I have read (twice) Ten Popes who Shook the World, also by Eamon Duffey. It is fascinating, and Duffy has a marvelous writing style. It is the most entertaining religious text I have read. He presented the material without any perceptible bias either way.

I didn’t even know he had written more Pope books - I will definitely check it out.

EDIT: I just checked on Amazon, and the guy has a treasure chest of books. I know what I will be reading for the next few months.

Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid. It is a very easy read, each chapter is a stand alone subject and it deal with the common arguments and myths and false accusations against the Papacy. It deals with bad Popes, the so called Pope Joan, etc and so on.

I borrowed this out of my public library a few days ago :slight_smile: had a quick look through and it looks easy enough to read. Can’t comment on its faith perspective though.

From my five-star Amazon review on this book:

I’m about halfway through this book - and enjoying myself immensely.

But the subtitle is a bit misleading. This is not like the Oxford Dictionary of Popes, where each Pope has an article. Indeed, many Popes are not even mentioned. It is a sweeping tale of the history and development of the Papacy and the environment in Rome and the East. I consider myself rather knowledgeable about Church history (especially the Fathers), but I am learning new and interesting things in each paragraph (and they are helping to “tie together” the history that I already knew).

If you are looking for a Pope-by-Pope study, this is not the book for you. But if you want a great and entertaining history of the Papacy, you MUST get this book!

Actually, I saw that review and marked it helpful! :smiley: Thank you!

Upon This Rock by Steve Ray

Thank you! :thumbsup:

Jesus, Peter & the Keys: A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy is an awesome book.

I recommend “The Biblical Basis for the Papacy” by John Salza. VERY Scriptural, and very informative. It made a lot of sense to me.

My continued thanks! I am intensely interested in this subject right now and I hope to read as many of these as possible! :slight_smile:

Upon this Rock by Steve Ray
Jesus, Peter, and the Keys by Scott Butler

But perhaps it should be asked: what aspect of the papacy do you want to learn about?

Good question!

History of the role of the pope and its development over time.
Summaries about each pope, or at least those who were important.

Thanks for your suggestions! I added them to my reading list. :slight_smile:

With nearly 250 popes to write about, the latter is a tall order. Perhaps two more:

Good Pope, Bad Pope by Mike Aquilina
Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid

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