For John Thavis, the timing couldn’t have been better. His book, “The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church,” was released in February 2013, just as Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be the first pope in 600 years to resign.
It was a stroke of luck that put his book – the culmination of nearly 30 years as a journalist covering the Vatican – in exactly the right place at the right time.
As the former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, few understand the inner workings of the seat of Roman Catholicism better than Mr. Thavis. His book reveals that Vatican City’s public image of power, hierarchical authority and reverence for the past often masks an uncertain and inept organizational culture.
A paperback edition of “The Vatican Diaries” was recently released, with a new afterward about Pope Francis. John Thavis joined Catholic News Service as a reporter in 1983 and became Rome bureau chief in 1996.
He served three years as president of the Association of International Journalists Accredited to the Vatican – the only American ever elected to that position – and has won numerous awards for his work.
Last year, John Thavis retired from Catholic News Service and moved back to the United States. He travels frequently to Rome, continues to cover Vatican affairs, and lectures in the United States and Europe.
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