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Perspectives on the papacy

papacy_01_0The Papacy since 1500: From Italian Prince to Universal Pastor is a collection of original essays edited by Jim Corkery SJ and Tom Worcester SJ, which will be launched by historian Fergus O’Donoghue SJ on 1 November at 5pm in the Milltown Institute, Dublin 6. The history and evolution of the papacy is examined from various perspectives, with essays on such greats as Pius VII, Leo XIII and John XXIII. One of the governing insights of the text is that the evolution of the papacy is both complex and non-linear. “Popes did what they could with what was available to them,” says Jim Corkery, “making prudential judgements and sometimes wrong choices. As the book shows, they were variously received – and were more influenced by the social and cultural circumstances of their times and of their actual reception than many people might be aware.” Jim speaks here about the relevance of the book.