Green Room

Required conclave prep: The Vatican Diaries

posted at 7:30 am on March 4, 2013 by

As readers know by now, I will travel to Rome this week to provide on-the-scene reports on the papal conclave, interviews with various figures at the Vatican, as well as keep up with my regular tasks to some extent. To borrow a phrase from Lord of the Rings that has become popular in social media, one does not simply walk into the Vatican and know which questions to ask. I’ve been burning through some on-line sources to prepare myself — John Allen at National Catholic Reporter is a good read, for instance — but one book I’ve just started reading is designed to bring us all up to speed on what to expect from this conclave.

John Thavis’ The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church reminds us all of the fact that the Vatican may have a divine mission, but it’s still an organization filled with human beings, with all of the imperfections that implies.  I’ve gone about a third of the way through it and hope to complete it by the time I board the plane on Thursday morning.  Thavis is in Rome, and I hope to both pick his brain and interview him for Hot Air readers as soon as possible.  I’m working out of the Kindle version, but there are also audio versions available.


Update: The Anchoress has an interview with John Thavis, and graciously links back.

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


Good call! I just picked this up over the weekend.

boko fittleworth on March 4, 2013 at 8:54 AM

This Lent was not a good time to swear off Twitter, Ed.

Blake on March 4, 2013 at 9:52 AM

How about a book review of The vatican Diaries?

Fenris on March 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM

How about a book review of The vatican Diaries?

Fenris on March 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Hoping to have one when I finish it, along with an interview with Thavis.

Ed Morrissey on March 4, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Ed, be sure to check out this post at Rorate Caeli on prognosticating in general if you haven’t already. The team at Rorate has been doing excellent work so far covering things and its principal contributor is very savvy.

Vatican Watcher on March 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM

John Allen at National Catholic Reporter is a good read,

I’ll have to take your word for it, as I tend to avoid any source that has its bishop announcing that it should desist in calling itself ‘Catholic’.

Vatican Watcher on March 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM


pannw on March 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint

Just a reminder: People will die

Allahpundit Jun 28, 2017 10:41 PM
Top Pick

“Whipped cream’s killing more people than ever before.”

Top Pick

Medicare for all?

“There comes a point where you gotta get off the crazy train.”

Poll: Dem voters glumly sticking with Pelosi

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 8:41 PM

Disaster ahead?

“When she left it, it was in better shape than it had ever been.”

Manafort, firm registers as foreign agents

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 6:41 PM

Better late than never?

Delivered as promised

“I would like to think that the president saved many innocent men, women and children.”

“The Russia investigation was by far the dominant topic…”

The merry little media war continues.

Criminal enterprise

Politico: Has the SPLC lost its way?

John Sexton Jun 28, 2017 3:01 PM

“The organization has always tried to find ways to milk money out of the public…”

Trump legal team backing away from Comey complaint?

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 2:31 PM


Time to get up and go to work, sir

CNN gets glum, defensive after resignations

John Sexton Jun 28, 2017 1:01 PM

“If Jeff lit himself on fire, it wouldn’t appease the pro-Trump media.”

Hmmm: FBI probing Russia-based anti-virus firm?

Ed Morrissey Jun 28, 2017 12:31 PM

“I wouldn’t put their stuff on my computer if you paid me.”

He works hard for the money…

It’s not a slippery slope. It’s a freaking avalanche.


Showdown: Sarah Palin vs the New York Times

Jazz Shaw Jun 28, 2017 9:21 AM


Credit where creditor’s due?

More flash than bang, but a very bad sign

“Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.”

Chaffetz: House needs housing allowances?

Ed Morrissey Jun 27, 2017 8:41 PM

“There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don’t know how healthy that is long term.”

“This isn’t going to get a lot cheaper, it can’t, it won’t.”

“…what we failed to achieve with votes, we would do with weapons.”

“[S]o dumb it’s amazing we even have to have the conversation.”

“It was not necessary.”

“You’re inflaming everyone right here right now with those words!”

“Trump’s people said, ‘We’ll be writing the speech that the President’s Audio-Animatronic figure will be saying.'”

Excuses, excuses.

Not really a “kill all the lawyers” scenario

4 pm ET!

“it has not taken serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking, including forced laborers from North Korea.”