The Vatican's Women by Paul Hofmann
Female Influence at the Holy See

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Synopsis

Four hundred of the 3,800 people who permanently live or work in the State of Vatican City, the smallest sovereign and independent state on the globe, are women. They are nuns and members of the laity; some are housekeepers of churchmen; others are secretaries, translators, editors, lawyers, and middle-level officials of the papal administration.

Expansive in scope and enlightening in detail, The Vatican's Women recalls women who wielded power in the Vatican, including St. Catherine of Siena, Queen Christina of Sweden, Mother Pascalina (Pope Pius XII's longtime housekeeper and confidante), and Mother Teresa. With an unflinching eye, Paul Hofmann examines the papacy's reaction to Catholic women's (and nuns') liberation, and women's struggles, especially today, to fortify their positions within the Church. The Vatican's Women is a thorough and revealing exploration that will herald a new level of insight and dialogue amongst feminists, theologians, and laypeople alike.

 

About Paul Hofmann

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Paul Hofmann was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times for almost thirty-five years and was chief of its Rome Bureau. He is the author of many nonfiction books, including Seasons of Rome and That Fine Italian Hand. He lives in Rome.
 
Published October 8, 2002 by St. Martin's Press. 224 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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some Vatican insiders predict that the continuing scarcity of priests will lead to women’s admittance to the priesthood, as well as forcing the church to drop the rule of clerical celibacy.

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Publishers Weekly

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To find out women's impact on the Vatican, Hoffman, a former Rome bureau chief for the New York Times, conducted interviews with more than 40 representatives of the church's distaff side and did historical research aided by two of the Vatican's women professionals.

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