Catherine Pepinster charts the relationship between the British and the papacy in the modern era, looking at how this relationship is coloured by its turbulent past. Despite the enmity of previous centuries, Pepinster uncovers surprising instances of influence of the papacy in British politics, the collaboration between Pope and politicians on key issues, the `stealth minority' of Catholics occupying major positions in public life, and the modern relationship between the Papacy and the Crown.
In addition Pepinster analyses the crucial role that Britain has played in Rome, uncovers the unexpected role of the British Foreign Office in the appointment of Pope Francis, and discusses the modern style of the papacy and how this functions on a global scale. Featuring exclusive interviews with Cardinals Nichols and Murphy-O'Connor, Rowan Williams, Lord Patten and former British Ambassadors to both the Holy See and Italy, this account of the contemporary relationship between Great Britain and the Pope offers both fundamental evidence and penetrating insights into this most fascinating of political relationships.
Catherine Pepinster is the former editor of The Tablet, Britain's most popular Catholic weekly. She has been Executive Editor of the Independent on Sunday and is a regular contributor to the national press and Radio 4. Pepinster was a visiting fellow at St Benet's Hall, University of Oxford, UK.
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction Britain and Rome: The Entirely Trusted Stealth Minority Relations Restored: Diplomacy Part One From Farce to a Golden Age: Diplomacy Part Two Faith, Reason and Compassion: Benedict, the British, and Francis The Grit in the Oyster: Church vs State The Papacy and Northern Ireland Ecumenism: Every Picture Tells a Story The British at the Heart of Rome The Pope as a Modern Leader: From John Paul II to Pope Francis Indexes