Never mind John Julius Norwich read the CTS history of the Popes instead – says Francis Phillips

The CTS booklet on the Papacy is a better read than John Julius Norwich’s glossy history of the world’s oldest institution, according to Francis Phillips.

Writing in the Catholic Herald, she is full of praise for Fr Nicholas Schofield’s work, pointing out that it does not fall into the same old clichés as this latest effort, including unfounded accusations against Pope Pius XII, and the myth of a female Pope.  She writes:

“The same old ignorance; the same old slur. Turning to the chapter on Pius XII I checked Norwich’s sources: there was only one: Hitler’s Pope by John Cornwell. [Cornwell’s work] has been comprehensively demolished by respectable historians such as Michael Burleigh in Sacred Causes and Sir Martin Gilbert in The Righteous.”

Then she goes on to talk about the CTS booklet:

“In the useful little CTS booklet, A History of the Papacy by Fr Nicholas Schofiel the author concludes: ‘Pius XII’s concern for the Jews impressed many outside the Church. In 1945 the chief rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, became a Catholic and took as his baptismal name ‘Eugenio’, in tribute to the pope.’ (Pius’s baptismal name was ‘Eugenio’.)”

At less than one tenth of the price of The Popes, it’s a bargain according to Philips, “I think readers might save themselves £25 and read Fr Schofield’s booklet in the CTS’s ‘concise histories’; it is only £1.95.”

On the subject of Pope Pius XII, EWTN has today reported a possible miracle through his intercession. A 42 year-old Italian teacher has journeyed to Rome to tell how she was cured of cancer.

A history of the Papacy by Fr Nicholas Schofield is available from CTS priced £1.95


Of related interest:

Pius XII – Pius XII was Pope at a very turbulent time in history (1939 – 1958), and widely admired and respected in his lifetime. Since 1963 attacks against him have increased, notably concerning the plight of the Jewish people in the second World War – each attack has been fully answered by those who have studied the facts.
Pius XII and the Holocaust – Using rare archive footage and interviews with witnesses and experts, the film shows the steps Pius took to protect the persecuted.
B692 John XXIII – Angelo Roncalli, intelligent, modest, joyful and from the humblest of origins, became Pope aged 78. Yet his short papacy (1958-1963) inaugurated the most significant event in Church life for centuries: the Vatican Council II.

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