Bernard P. Prusak
In the fall of 1965, I worked in the final session of the Second Vatican Council. A young priest and doctoral candidate, I was tasked with distributing documents and collecting votes and amendments from my assigned section of bishops. Almost half a century later, a bound set of those documents holds a prized place in my library—and the events and personalities of those days hold a prized place in my memory.
O’Malley tells a pared-down story of the papacy, skipping over long periods to focus on defining moments. His approach is effective and the historical anecdotes provide a readable insight into the development of the papacy.
If George Weigel had lived in nineteenth-century France, he would have been termed an ultramontane—one who looked beyond the Alps to Rome. Instead, he looks from Washington to Rome.