Dispelling Vatican Myths

Note: I wrote this entry back in December, but it still seems relevant, as the College of Cardinals is meeting this week to elect a new Pope.

The January 2005 issue of US Catholic carries a book excerpt from John Allen's “All the Pope's Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks.� If the book is half as interesting as the article, I think many libraries will find it a good purchase. Some things that I as a Catholic did not know before reading this article:

+The Vatican's annual operating budget is 1/5 that of Harvard University.

+All of the Vatican's buildings and artwork at valued at 1 euro each because the Church sees them as the artistic heritage of the entire world.

+The Vatican is unable to tell bishops how to build their churches.

The article I read is not currently online, but you can find out more about the book at:

NPR's Fresh Air interview with the author.

Powell's Books' listing for the item.

John Allen also writes a weekly column Word from Rome which looks interesting.


Those were neat facts, and links.

Another interesting fact is that the Vatican issues a small amount of its own Euro coins (each EU country is represented on one side, the other being the same in on all the Euro coins) which are quickly snapped up by collectors.